President Muhammadu Buhari pledged Monday in Abuja that his administration will take concrete actions to correct the neglect of research, science and technology by past governments.
Speaking after receiving a briefing on the activities of the Ministry of Science and Technology, President Buhari declared that his administration will dedicate more resources and energy to the sector because no country could make progress without serious commitment to the development of science and technology.
Buhari said that he will fully encourage the work of the Ministry of Science and Technology because innovations from the various research institutes under its supervision could also impact positively on industrial development and manufacturing in Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita had enumerated several challenges hindering its effectiveness, including perennial poor funding and the lack of recognition on the part of successive governments of science and technological innovation as a major driver of economic development.
Mrs. Oyo-Ita told the President that the focus of the Ministry had moved from academic research to market-based innovative research aimed at boosting industrialization.
She asked for more support and political will from the Federal Government to encourage scientific research, innovation and local manufacturing.
Also Monday in Abuja, President Buhari received the outgoing British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Andrew Pocock and the outgoing Swiss Ambassador, Mr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel.
The President thanked both envoys for their efforts to strengthen relations between Nigeria and their respective countries.
He wished them success in their future assignments.
The former Secretary-General of the Commonwealth, Sir Shridath Ramphal, who is in Nigeria on a visit, also paid a courtesy call on Buhari.