By Prince Okafor & Chidiebere Enwere

LAGOS—Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that in Global Competitiveness Report for 2015/2016, Nigeria recorded a score of 3.0 out of 7 and ranked 106 out of 140 countries on Technological Readiness and a score of 2.8 out of 7 with a rank of 117 out of 140 countries on Innovation.

 Ogbonnaya Onu
Ogbonnaya Onu

The minister at a policy dialogue with private sector organised by the Nigeria Economic Submit Group, NESG, said: “It is worth pointing out that 13 of the countries that ranked among the top 20 in the Global Competitive Index also ranked among the top 20 in the rankings of the Technological Readiness and Innovation Pillars.

They are Switzerland, Singapore, United States of America, Germany, Netherlands, Japan, Finland, Sweden, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, Belgium and Luxembourg.

“When we look at the MINT countries of Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey, apart from the fact that the other three are doing much better than us in competitiveness, they rank far above Nigeria in the rankings on Technological Readiness and Innovation.

“We should aim to be the best for only the best is good enough for Nigeria. We can no longer continue to depend on others. The time has come for us to be self-reliant and also be competitive enough for others to depend on us at least in some areas. This will nourish our national pride.”

“Closing the development gap will depend on closing the existing STI investment gaps. While a target of 1% of GDP for Research and Development, RD, is perceived as high by many governments, countries with strong and effective STI systems invest up to 3.5% of their GDP in RD.

“If countries wish to break the poverty cycle and achieve Sustainable Development Goals SDGs, they will have to set up ambitious national minimum target investment for STI.”

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