By Emmanuel Elebeke
Ahead of the proposed establishment of Nigeria’s Technology Centres by the government, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) have trained over 100 Nigerians on science and technology park research.
The training workshop with the theme “enhancing the knowledge and skills of Science, Technology and Innovation (ST&I) experts for establishment of Science and Technology Parks in the Region’, was the first regional workshop organized to address the importance of science and technology parks to the development of the region.
Declaring the workshop open in Kaduna, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Habiba Lawal, who was represented by the Director Technology Acquisition and Assessment (TAA) department, Dr. Adeleye Talabi, commended the efforts of UNESCO and NOTAP in ensuring that the continent develops technologically by gathering distinguished and erudite scholars to deliberate on the matter.
She said the mandate of the Ministry was amongst other things, to create technology infrastructure and knowledge base to facilitate its wide application for development.
Dr. Lawal further stated that in line with one of the Science, Technology and Innovation policy strategies, which was to popularize and inculcate STI culture in Nigeria, the Ministry will play a leadership role in the establishment of Science and Technology (S&T) parks aimed at facilitating the creation and growth of innovation-based companies through incubation and spin-off process and provide other value additions for national development.
In his remarks, the Director General of NOTAP, Dr. DanAzumi Ibrahim, stated that the workshop was necessitated by the urgent need for the Region to compare notes and evolve a pragmatic approach towards technological growth in the region and minimize over dependence on foreign technology consumption.
The representative of the UNESCO Regional director, Dr. Osuji Out, said that the workshop became necessary considering the fact that the region does not have a place in global technology market, adding that the establishment of Technology Parks shall fast-rack technology development within the sub-region.
The workshop was attended by about one hundred experts from Universities and Research Institutions drawn from Nigeria and five other west-African countries.