FG: Worrying rise in the exchange rate

Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikechukwu Ikoh, said there are serious concerns about Nigeria’s declining revenue and soaring exchange rates.

The Minister voiced concern on Wednesday in Abuja at the launch of the North-Central Dialogue between Government and Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) ecosystem stakeholders on creating and the implementation of the Technology and Innovation Centers for Global Competitiveness and Productivity in Abuja.

According to him, Nigeria must therefore invest heavily in science and technology to reverse the trend.

The Minister, represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Monilola Udoh, underscored the need to fully integrate industry and business-oriented research and development activities to provide a solution to the socio-economic activities of the country and to the stabilization of the country’s currencies.

He said the theme “Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Improving Foreign Exchange Earnings through Science, Technology and Innovation” is relevant, but regretted that over the years the role of STI in the nation’s development program has not been fully utilized.

He said that the establishment of technology and innovation centers in the six geopolitical zones would strengthen the collaboration of researchers that is necessary to achieve the desired research results in the country, rather than working in silos.

“The experience of COVID-19 in our economic transformation of many countries around the world, including Nigeria, is an example that indicates the importance of STI in the socio-economic development of a nation and the need to make so that ITS plays an important role in the socio-economic development of any Nation.

“Let me at this juncture say that there is still much to be done in STI in our country to achieve the desired goal. the country’s businesses, industry and services.

“The trajectory of business and R&D are key drivers of innovation, including sound policies that then shape good technological progress towards accelerating the goals of sustainability and shared prosperity.

“I firmly believe that at the end of the dialogue in the six zones, stakeholders will be able to come up with a strategy that will ensure that technology and innovation centers will produce tech giants, effectively encourage the examination by the peers of researchers and promote the learning of new approaches to research through interaction”, declared the Minister.

In a remark, the Director, UNESCO Representative in Nigeria, Mr. Dimitri Sanga, represented by Dr. Enang Moma, expressed his optimism about the improvement in Nigeria’s Global Competitiveness Index, following the increased momentum in training ministry staff.

Sanga said that “UNESCO and the ministry have initiated collaboration in 3 key areas of STI, using STEM as a building block for capacity development.”

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