The Director-General, National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Prof. Idris Bugaje, on Tuesday said Nigeria must focus on new knowledge in science, technology and innovation to achieve rapid development.
Bugaje stated this in a paper he presented at a national conference organised by School of Applied Sciences, Nuhu Bamalli Polytechnic, Zaria.
The paper is titled “Science, Technology and Innovation as Catalysts for Change, Application, Prospect and Challenges for National Development.”
He said that knowledge remain key to Nigeria’s quest to be among the best economies in the world by 2020.
Bugaji called for the setting up of Research and Innovation Fund as provided under the Science Technology and Innovation policy.
The D-G advised the government to also establish a Federal Ministry of Higher Education, Science, Technology and Innovation, to drive application of research to fast track national development.
“This will have very catalytic effect on research and publication with greater streamlining and focus on generation of innovations in key thematic areas.
“TEDFUND would easily fund the research and development proposals of Research Institutes under this arrangement,” he said.
In his speech, the Kaduna State Commissioner for Education, Prof. Andrew Nok said the theme of the conference aligned with state government’s vision.
Nok, who was represented by an official of the ministry, charged participants to avail themselves of the unique opportunity to update their knowledge.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Prof. Dalhatu Yahaya observed that technology remained the bedrock of development of every society, with science as foundation.
Represented by the Deputy Rector, Mr Paul Abiong, the rector said Nigeria must harness its potentials in science and technology to move to the next level of development.