By Hillary Asemota
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called on entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and the business community to invest more capital, innovation and ideas into the development of science, technology and innovation in Nigeria.
The Minister made the call during a breakfast meeting with Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos at the weekend.
The breakfast meeting between the federal government and entrepreneurs/captains of industries is to create synergy on how more investment through the private sector can be utilized for the overall development of Science, Technology and Innovation for Nigeria’s socio-economic benefit.
In statement made available to EXTRAORDINAIRE, Josephine Ademu, quoted the Minister as saying that efforts of the federal government to grow STI in the country haven’t been enough and the need for venture capitalists is crucial to the speedy development of the sector.
He said: “Venture capitalists in the technologically developed countries, play the very important role of transforming ideas into goods, by taking the necessary risks.
In the absence of venture capitalists, we need to involve our top-rated entrepreneurs who are major risk takers in the development process. For so long we have been dealing with manufacturers, but we need to utilize the risk bearers who will constitute the major off-takers of the products of scientific research and innovation activities by our scientists all over the country.”
The Minister further explained to the entrepreneurs that necessary legal and policy framework have been laid out to create the necessary conducive environment.
According to him, the business community is the most formidable member of the STI Ecosystem. In his words; “I am convinced that you constitute the most formidable member of the STI Ecosystem, and hence provide the best mechanism to transform existing research and development breakthroughs and findings to wealth through commercialization for industrial and services application.”
Onu informed the business community that the Ministry has been reformed to coordinate innovation activities in the country, adding that for the first time since independence all regulatory bodies in the country brought together, to ensure Nigerian goods and services are of global standards.
The Minister of state, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, said the Ministry is looking forward to leverage on their wealth of experience in businesses towards better application of scientific research and development outcomes to value addition in Nigerian enterprises.
He added that All the Ministries agencies are ready to exhibit some of their R&D outcomes and breakthroughs.
Abdullahi noted that the agencies are expecting know their needs and look for best possible ways on how they can collaborate to achieve results. He added, that they were open to receive advisory notes that would help them serve the general public better.
On building strategic partnership, Mr. Pascal Dozie, who delivered a speech titled “Building Strategic Partnership between Science, Technology and Innovation community and Nigerian Entrepreneurs” said that the essence of the meeting was to foster effective collaboration among the critical stakeholders within the STI ecosystem that will lead to significant inclusive development and growth of Nigeria.
He expressed optimism that a robust framework for full commercialization of key innovations can be achieved.