By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA— Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the move by the National Centre for Technology Management, NACETEM, an agency under his ministry to embark on technology audit will identify existing gaps in Nigeria technological advancement.
The minister stated this at the ongoing four-day stakeholders’ workshop on science, technology and innovation indicators and technology audit of selected economic sectors in Nigeria held in Abuja.
The minister who was impressed by the step taken by NACETEM said adding audit of selected economic sectors in Nigeria as part of the NACETEM stakeholders’ workshop on Science, Technology and Innovation Indicators showed the seriousness attached to deploying STI to sustainable development by the nation.
Dr. Onu said the audit will reveal the state of development, acquisition and utilization of technology in Nigeria.
“The objective of the project is to identify the technologies relevant for Nigeria’s sustainable development, examine the barriers to utilization and development of framework and action plan for exploiting technologies for Nigeria’s development.
“NACETEM has through this workshop demonstrated its understanding of what the ministry has been advocating for using science, technology and innovation as driver of the nation’s development. This role of STI in driving development is fore grounded in the Economic and Growth Plan, ERGP, which clearly expresses the need for science, technology and innovation to be harnessed to drive national competitiveness, productivity and economic activities in all sectors.”
“Let me point out here that NACETEM has the full backing of the ministry for this workshop at it fits perfectly into the blueprint of the current administration as spelt out in the ERGP in leapfrogging the economy of Nigeria using STI,” he added.
In his remarks, the director-General and Chief Executive Officer, National Centre for Technology Management, NACETEM, Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma, said the goal of the workshop was to bring stakeholders in the science, technology and innovation, STI community together with a view to having robust discussions on the next phase off the STI indicators Surveys as well as brainstorm on technology audit of selected economic sectors in Nigeria.
Ukwuoma said the agency recognized the need to expand its partnership to all critical stakeholders in order to make the outcomes acceptable to all.
His word, “In view of this, NACETEM has decided to adopt an all-inclusive approach to come up with standard indicators acceptable to all and to audit the nation’s technology in line with global best practices.
“Auditing has not been done in Nigeria, it helps us to know where we are. If Nigeria wants to go to anywhere technologically, do we have the requisite expertise, instrument, infrastructure to be able to go where we want to go technologically. Nigeria continue to talk about technological development, we have it in Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), we have it in technology road map of the ministry but where are we at present that is technologically ,expertise, infrastructure and the technology itself where are we?”
“This workshop is not an end to itself but a means to an end. This is a starting point for the next phase of science, technology and innovation indicators survey for Nigeria and a forum to fine-tune the questionnaire meant to identify the gaps in the nation’s technology and discuss how to address the identified gaps with a view to competing favorably well with other nations; of the world.”