The Nigerian government will allocate a minimum of 0.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product to research and innovation in order to accelerate development, President Muhammadu Buhari said on Monday.
Buhari disclosed this while declaring open a five-day technology and innovation expo organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, themed ‘Science, technology and innovation for economic recovery and sustainability amidst COVID-19 challenges’.
The tech expo is aimed at showcasing research and development results and the products and services of inventive minds in the country.
“We are aware that only a few African countries have met this target, but as a result of the challenges of this critical sector of the economy, we will allocate a minimum of 0.5 per cent of our GDP to research and innovation as a way to fast track meaningful development,” the president said.
Represented by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, he said the Gederal Government had made considerable improvement in the budgetary allocation to the ministry in the past few years.
He said, “This has helped increase research and innovation with the aim of achieving sustainable development.
“We are happy that this has been achieved in line with the decision taken by the African Union’s Executive Council in 2006 to establish a target for all member States of one per cent of GDP investment in research and development in order to improve innovation, productivity and economic growth.”
According to Buhari, the Federal Government intends to harness domestic talents and develop indigenous capacities in science and technology to promote national competitiveness and productivity across all sectors of the economy.
He said, “This administration will continue to support the science, technology and innovation sector by expanding the opportunities open to those working in those fields.
“This expo is a practical demonstration of this commitment; today, I urge all the researchers, inventors and innovators who are participating in this expo to be steadfast as the government has confidence that your results, products and services will help make Nigeria a truly great nation respected all over the world.”
Buhari added that the Federal Government was presently working to bridge the digital divide by increasing access to broadband, adding that the National Broadband Plan was launched earlier in the year.
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