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By Emmanuel Elebeke

The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Mr. Edet Sunday Akpan has called on the Organized Private Sectors (OPS) to explore more ways of partnering with the various Research Institutes and Agencies in commercializing viable products and services for the nations benefit.

The Permanent Secretary made the call on Monday while declaring open the 19th Meeting of the National Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (NCSTI) in Abuja.

The theme of the council Meeting is “Investment in Research and Development: A Necessary Tool to Improving Nigerian Economy’’.

He said that the Ministry was working tirelessly towards the reduction and elimination of the current high level of stand-alone research efforts scattered all over the country, especially those tied to national priorities.

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Mr. Edet said the council, is a veritable platform to ensure that all relevant stakeholders in the STI sector are fully integrated and involved in the development and deployment of STI in addressing national issues.

He further affirmed that STI constitutes the engine of socio-economic advancement of any nation, adding that there is a need for closer collaboration among the three tiers of government.

In his remark, the host and Director General of NARSDA, Halilu Shaba said ‘‘the idea of having the council meeting is to bring stakeholders together to look at where to collaborate and enhance government efforts.

‘‘Because we are having all the permanent secretaries in the states, the Council will be looking at areas of innovations, future technology and also identify some gaps because there are efforts that are going on in the universities, states and local government level, new expectations will come from.’’

‘‘In terms of implantation, a lot is going on at state and federal levels, I can assure you that in the past few years most decisions taken in this kind of meetings are been implemented under the watch of this minister, even with paucity of funds. We believe we have all it takes to make Nigeria great.’’

On his part, the director general of the national Biotechnology Development Area, NABDA, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha said the meeting is about bringing all that matters in science and technology together. As regards to what we produce here, he said government is looking at how to use them to advance the economy.

The Council meeting is the second highest science and technology body that makes policy decisions and look at other areas of development.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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