Nigeria, others must harness power of research for growth – Minister

Nigeria’s socioeconomic development and growth rest on the major plank of innovation and research, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Geoffrey Nnaji has said.
The minister gave this charge in Lagos, during a tour of duty across some of the ministry and departmental agencies (MDAS) under his supervision.

While addressing newsmen at the end of the facility tour of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi [FIIRO], the National Board for Technology Incubation [NBI], Nnaji said there are so many research products on the shelves which have neither been touched nor utilised.

 

“If Nigerians can concentrate on bringing out these research products, we can change overnight”. Re-emphasising the need of innovation, science and technology in moving the country forward, he stressed that “moving this country forward, you need innovation, science and technology,” adding that “we are the focus of economic development, there are no two ways about it.

“That is why I keep praying that more money be allocated to places like FIIRO so that those researches can see the light of the day.”

He also advised manufacturers and importers of industrial machines against wasting foreign exchange by importing machines because there are quality machines at FIIRO. “They should look in first. We have solid durable machines here. They should look into FIIRO and many of these other agencies under me before going outside to import. Many of those machines they import do not even last.”

The minister, who hinted of plans to establish an indigenous lithium battery factory, said “This move is designed to reduce Nigeria’s dependency on foreign production and foster the local manufacturing of vital energy storage components.

“I just visited the Federal Institute of Industrial Research in Oshodi, Lagos, and now the Technology Incubation Centre in Agege. I’m observing a significant incubation of industrialists in this space.

“They have trained over 1,000 individuals—bringing them in, providing training, incubating them, and then facilitating their transition to their respective businesses. This process has resulted in the emergence of numerous millionaires.”

The minister also disclosed that under President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, there’s an acknowledgment that more needs to be accomplished. He stated that all ministers are driven by the directive, emphasising the need for heightened efforts across agencies and job creation.

Various business groups, including the Nigeria Association of Small-Scale Industrialists and the Nigeria Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture, were present during the official visit to Agege.

“With a president from the private sector, there is a serious commitment to generating power, even leveraging solar energy.”

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