The National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM) has advocated the use of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to drive federal government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) and Executive Order No 5.
The Director General of the centre, Prof. Okechukwu Okwuoma said the goals of the ERGP can only be successfully achieved if the domestication of STI is done in all phases of project conceptualization, design, procurement, contracts and implementation.
Okwuoma spoke at the National Technology Forum, organised by the agency, in Asaba, Delta State, saying the event is historic as it is coming at the beginning of the second term of the administration of the President Muhammad Buhari.
He acknowledged that the administration “has laid a solid foundation for STI to thrive in its first term. It is only apt therefore for drivers of such initiatives to ensure that stakeholders in STI are conversant with the initiatives and understand how to use them to accomplish sustainable development.
To this end, NACETEM, he added has decided to organize the forum bearing in mind the contents of the ERGP as outlined in 2017-2020 and Executive Order No. 5.
The DG said the ERGP had sustainable long term objectives “to stabilse the macro-economic environment, achieve agriculture and food security, ensure energy sufficiency (power and petroleum products), improve transportation infrastructure, and drive industrialization.
“It is a conscious decision by the government to encourage and deepen the participation of indigenous professionals in the execution of science, technology and innovation projects and contract.
“The Executive Order 5 further seeks to entrench science, technology and innovation culture in achieving the nation’s development goals. It aims to do this by encouraging and/or promoting made in Nigeria goods and services, with the ultimate objective of adoption of local technology in a gradual effort to replace foreign ones. The Executive Order No. 5 succinctly and adequately provides for the modalities, processes and dynamics required for meeting its set objectives.
“NACETEM, as an agency of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, believes that there is need for constructive engagement with strategic and relevant stakeholders in government, industry and academia to consider and harmonize their roles towards ensuring that the ERGP and Executive Order is successfully implemented to achieve its desired result and impact on the nation’s economy.
“It is our expectation that such intra- and inter-linkage/collaboration among these stakeholders will foster the critical buy in and proffer workable recommendations for the successful implementation of the Executive Order 5.
“The meeting will, in line with the global best practices, expose the participants here present: permanent secretaries, director-general and directors of federal and state cognate science, technology and innovation, top executives of development finance institutions, organised private sector (OPS), National and state chambers of commerce and industry, professional/trade associations, tertiary institutions, captains of industry, local contractors, artisans and professionals, among others – to the following important areas required to deepen Nigerian content in science, engineering and technology contracts and procurements.”
NACETEM Lagos Coordinator, Mrs. Maryann Ngozi Onyejekwe, in a remark, stressed the importance of technology as it has become the centerpiece of every meaningful and sustainable development in the 21st Century.
She said, “NACETEM, as a knowledge support institution, therefore deems it important to create a platform where issues on STI will be discussed with a view to deepening Nigerian content in science, engineering and technology contracts and procurements.”
Onyejekwe, said the agency provides critical knowledge support in the area of science, technology and innovation management for sustainable development, and these core assignments are carried out through capacity building, policy research and consultancy services.
“It is in fulfillment of our mandates, particularly in building capacities of science, technology and innovation stakeholders that this forum has been organized.
“Also it is our belief that this gathering will enable us to have fresh perspectives on how science, technology and innovation can help us as a nation to achieve the much desired development.” Onyejekwe said.