By Emmanuel Elebeke
Minister of External Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama has said that the country needs to set aside two per cent of its Gross Domestic Product, GDP for research and innovation, if it must continue to get recognition in the global market.
He said setting such amount aside would position the country for real development and guarantee production of problem-solving solutions such as COVID-19 vaccines which Nigeria clearly relies on other countries for supply.
Onyeama spoke at the just- concluded 2021 Technology and Innovation Expo in Abuja.
He, however, commended the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, for the passion and commitment he is showing on science and technology.
Onyeama said: “If you look at all the developed and industrialised countries of the world, there is one common factor;- emphasis on investments on science and technology and innovation.
“Today, no society can prosper and grow without science and innovation; we have to put in more into our research, innovation and an enabling environment for our research and innovation. It is important that the country should set aside at least two per cent of its GDP for research and innovation.
“We have a global pandemic and we need vaccines and vaccination and one of these things is that countries that have invested on research and development and innovation are the ones producing the vaccines and we that have not invested resources on science, technology and innovation are now sitting down waiting for those countries to provide us with vaccines to keep our people alive.
“If there is anything that suggests that we know the importance of research and development, it is this challenge of COVID-19 that we are in now.”
Responding to the challenge, Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Onu charged investors to take advantage of research findings displayed at the Expo to create jobs, wealth for citizens and for the entire nation.