President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday reaffirmed the commitment of his administration to invest in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in order to enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness at the continental and global levels.
Speaking during the inaugural meeting with the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, Buhari said the objectives of securing Nigeria, growing the economy, creating jobs and fighting crime can best be achieved through science and technology.
According to him, Nigeria must accord high priority to science and technology if it must take its rightful place among the leading economies in the modern world.
He said, “Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the 20 largest economies in the world by the year 2020 is only attainable when science, technology and innovation are fully integrated into our national socio-economic development process. That process will now be fast tracked with the coming on board of this Council.
“I wish to assure this Council of my determination and commitment to ensure that as a nation, we will invest appropriately in science, technology and innovation in order to guarantee our competitiveness both continentally and globally. Our goal to secure our nation, grow our economy, create jobs and fight crime can best be achieved if we embrace science and technology.
“The NRIC is geared towards coordinating and streamlining the nation’s research and development activities as well as fostering innovation. It is designed to accelerate the growth of innovation-based entrepreneurship in the country and to create conditions for the commercialisation of current and further research findings in our universities and research institutes.
“Your Council is also expected to reposition STI as a national priority to guarantee sustainability, high standard of living and quality of life for Nigerians as well as fast-track industrial and economic development. In this regard, the Council will meet quarterly to consider and take vital decisions on STI related issues.”
PMB Meets Service Chiefs
Meanwhile, Buhari has held a closed- door meeting with the service chiefs and other members of the National Security Council.
The meeting which started at about 11am and ended at about 4pm Thursday, was the first meeting of the Council in 2016.
No member of the Council spoke to State House correspondents after the meeting.
In attendance at the merging were Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno, Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonishakin, and Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai.
Others were Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok- Ete Ekwe Ibas, Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Sadique Abubakar, Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase and Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammed Dan- Alli.