By Hillary Asemota
The Minister of State for Science Technology and Innovation (STI), Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi, over the weekend stressed the crucial role of Science, Technology and Innovation to Nigeria’s development and growth even as he explores the deployment of STI between the two countries for development.
This is coming even as the Qatari Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr. Ali Al-Hajri, says his country has ramped up efforts to increase investment in the country to almost N500 billion before this year comes to an end.
The Minister made the disclosure at the Qatar-Nigeria economic Forum, in Abuja, acknowledged that the STI sector is currently witnessing a significant turnaround due to the push from the ministry, the interest generated from stakeholders toward the growth and development of the Nigerian economy.
According to him, the Ministry is charged with the responsibility of formulation and review of the STI policy as well as the promotion of same policy in the country.
Mr. Afonja Ajibola, Spokesperson for the Ministry, who made the disclosure on behalf of the Ministry, quoted the Minister as saying that the STI sector holds the key to the progress of any nation, adding that it plays a fundamental role in the wealth creation, improvement of quality life, economic growth and transformation of any society.
According to Abdullahi, government through its Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) have entered into bilateral relations with some selected countries of the world in various fields, explaining that this will stimulate the socio-economic and technological development of the country.
Abdullahi, also acknowledged that the Emirates of Qatar has made significant progress in various areas that relates to STI, cooperation with Qatar in the area of STI will further strengthen and deepen the already existing relationships between the two countries.
He added that the ministry is exploring opportunities for collaboration between Nigeria and Qatar on STI in the area of Science and Technology, Research and Development, Post- harvest agro- allied processing and processed food, Medicine and Pharmaceuticals, Nano technology and collaboration in the establishment of Methanol fuel industry in Nigeria.
In a remark, the diplomat averred that the Qatar-Nigeria Economic Forum is a by- product and a fallout of the economic event between the two countries.
He said private investors from Qatar are eager to finding more opportunities between the two countries to increase the volume of trade, technology transfer, and raise the level of the bilateral relations.