By Mustapha Yauri
The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology says it will collaborate with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) to bridge the gap in access to technological innovations to promote the skills of Nigerian youth.
Dr Ogbonnnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, made this known at two-day workshop organised by NEPAD Nigeria and NEPAD Continental in Abuja on Wednesday.
The minister was represented by Mr Emmanuel Peter, a Senior Scientific Officer, Department of Planning, Research and Policy Analysis.
He said the depth of knowledge and the level of quality of technology input to natural resource would determine the capital gain drivable, employment generation potential as well as technology learning.
He said the ministry emphasises on knowledge development not its creation which is a predominant activity of the tertiary educational institutions.
According to him, science and technology alone will not robotically translate into development.
“The application of such knowledge in the production of goods and services within a virile National System of Innovation would lead to industrial growth and sustainable economic development,” Onu said.
The minister said the ministry would leverage on NEPAD to integrate its Science, Technology and Innovative policy emphasised the demand-side as against the supply driven science and technology engagements with the private sector.
He added that the partnership between the two bodies aimed to boost the national innovative system where all the key components are linked for synergy and enhanced competitivenes.
Onu said the ministry had assisted 105 inventors and innovators with grants from N500,000 and N1 million under its presidential standing committee on invention and innovation.
He added that under the ward based cluster programme, the ministry has mapped the raw materials in the 9,555 political wards nationwide.
“Seven pilot projects were selected for implementation across the six geo-political zones of the country,” he said.
Mrs Gloria Akobundu, Chief Executive Officer of NEPAD Nigeria, said the programme has identified the gap between the ministry and the states and local governments.
She added NEPAD Nigeria through the Skills Initiative for Africa would intervene to bridge the gap between the ministry and state governments.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the federal ministry of education says it is committed to partnering with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) on providing Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
The ministry would identify with programmes aimed at empowering the youths.