Nigerian journalists have been encouraged to present to the rest of the world opportunities in the country’s science, technology and innovation (STI) industries, in a bid to ensure the country hits it Vision 20:2020 target.
The rallying cry was given by Dr Umar Buba Bindir, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), who asked reporters to “hit” the world with news on the progress being made.
“If we undermine STI, Vision 20:2020 will be a mirage,” he said. “We must promote Nigerian technology. Unless we brand Nigeria it will be difficult to achieve progress.”
He described as unfortunate the observation that in spite of the nation’s 50 years of independence it is yet to have major global products and companies irrespective of Nigeria’s rich intellectual assets.
He added: “If we remain doing things in the way we have done in the last 32 years, we cannot get it right. We need to know our strength, weakness, opportunities and threat in our strategic thinking in order to get it right.”
He also called on Nigeria’s government to pay attention to the opportunities in the country’s numerous research institutions. These he said includes the Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD).
He described the avalanche of opportunities that exist in the biotechnology sector in addition to other science and technology-based academic institutions such as universities and polytechnics.
“We can harness these opportunities for development,” he said.
Professor Ita Bassey Ewa, Minister of Science and Technology, implored media practitioners in the nation to give proper and consistent reports of science and technology issues.
“There is a growing understanding within the scientific community on the recurring need to strengthen linkages, partnerships and networks with media practitioners as critical stakeholders, who are also acknowledged information gatekeepers.
“This partnership is essentially critical towards effectively stimulating documenting, translating, documenting, translating and communicating science technology and innovation to the public,” the minister said through Dr Gloria Elemo, the Director-General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO).