The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora has said priorities must be channeled to building technological and innovation capacities with the integration of Science, Technology and Innovation, STI policies into national development strategies in the country.
According to him, though Nigerian Government is working hard to build an international institutional framework that embraces all stakeholders at all stages of technological development.
Also, Government and other stakeholders have resolved to make technology work for the public good. Stronger national capacities in STI must be built.
He stated this while delivering the keynote address at the opening ceremony of the Lagos State University-Alexander Von HUMBOLDT international conference, LASU-Humboldt Kellogg 2023 held on Tuesday at the Lagos State University, Ojo.
The conference with the theme: ‘Advancement of Science and Technology Innovations through Good Governance for Solving Nigeria’s Economic Challenges’.
The Minister, who was represented by the Director General Nigeria Natural Medicine Development, Dr. Sam Etatovie added that technology gaps must be bridged through facilitation of technology transfer into locally relevant products and services.
“Women’s participation in STEM Education should be increased as well as encourage girls and women to study and seek employment in these fields. Women should have full access to all forms of technology and be able to help set priorities, participate in decision making and shape research and development agendas to ensure inclusivity,” he urged.
Stating that the theme is apt in view of the numerous challenges associated with food security and other health issues brought about by COVID-19 among others, Mamora said Science, Technology and Innovation holds the key to lives both in the present and for future development and Nigeria cannot be an exception to its use where technologies from nanotechnology to biotechnology, space technology among others have been earmarked as the driving force for the development of any nation.
“In the case of food security, biotechnology initiatives and programmes have focused on safety, thus increasing livelihoods.
“There is no gainsaying that scientific processes and discoveries have been used to impact lives through the utilization of economic networks for improved livelihood and productivity.
“It is therefore important to note that Science, Technology and Innovation could be put to use in diverse areas of human endeavor including transportation, health, manufacturing, agriculture, administration, banking, etc.
“An important area being promoted is effectiveness and the efficiency of factories which manifest in the use of Artificial Intelligence and Robotics not just in the industries, but in our everyday life.
The Minister continued: “Nigeria, like other countries, through Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has engaged in STI dialogues on technology catch-up, adoption, and deployment.
“Lessons have also been learnt from other countries of the world in areas of comparative advantage. The framework for Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (STIP) has equally helped stakeholders with strategies, alongside other specific policies for harnessing frontier technologies for smarter, more sustainable cities, food security, smart agriculture, as well as employment generation in smart factories.
“Let me however state that the use of technology is rarely a solution on its own. Problems such as poverty, hunger, and climate change, or inequalities in health or education are inevitably complex and multidimensional.
“Technology is only a means to an end not an end in itself. The ministry is at the forefront in our quest to achieve innovative solutions,” he stated.
Congratulating the organizers of the conference, Mamora stated that more of such is required to share ideas for the management of Science and Technology in the country including creating the necessary awareness on the benefits of STI to the nation.
Also speaking on the topic ‘Advancing Food Security Through Good Governance in Nigeria at the event, the Commissioner, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Ms Abimbola Olusanya urged youth to embrace agriculture regardless of their academic or professional discipline in order to guarantee food security.
According to her, Food security means is about answering the question of whether one is able to access and afford the amount of food that one requires; the component materials that make up the meal, quality of the food components he or she needs consistently to sustain one’s lifetime.
She added that all sectors of the economy are hinged on agriculture, be it, production, manufacturing such as fabrics, tyres, even furniture are all by-products of the Agriculture sector. Nations, in fact, humans cannot survive without agriculture.
“That is why Lagos is trying its best in the area of Agriculture investment towards food security though there is still a long way to go.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Convener of the conference Prof. Kabiru Akinyemi thanked ALEXANDER Von HUMBOLDT for adding LASU for the first time on its global map to host distinguish participants all over the world
He explained that the Humboldt Kolleg is one of the numerous AvH Alumni sponsorship programmes geared towards effective networking, exchange of research ideas, sharing of thoughts, and cross -fertilization of knowledge 9n topical issues that are relevant not only to our immediate locality but also to a global village that drives to the path of achieving sustainable development goals
Participants were from different universities across the country for the five days event which ends on Friday.