Indigenous technology development stakeholders have advocated active promotion of local content policy in the manufacturing of strategic basic equipment in food processing, feeds, drugs, vaccines and other goods through subsidies, grants and other incentives by the government.
The stakeholders made the called at the end of the just concluded 4th LAPO Institute Conference on Microfinance and Enterprise Development with the theme, “Indigenous Technology and Value Chain Development”, in Benin-City.
The stakeholders include academia, policy makers, key players in the Microfinance industry, researchers, governmental and non-governmental organizations, texhnocrats, entrepreneurs, regulators and other relevant bodies.
In a 12-point communique signed by the conference chairman, Mike Obadan and chairperson , conference planning committee, Christiana Okojie respectively and made available to newsmen, urged governments and financial institutions to emulate the Asian Tigers who have liberalized funding for the development of local technology.
The experts noted that administrative bottlenecks delay access to funding opportunities for industrial growth and development.
They, however commended LAPO Institute for building the capacity of 5,484 beneficiaries in the areas of Microfinance and Enterprise Development and for disbursing the sum of N4.5million as thesis support to 29 indigent postgraduate students undergoing various programmes in Nigerian universities.
The communique said, “the conference noted that the wealth of indigenous knowledge and technologies in Nigeria presents unique opportunities for innovation to occur, for local economic transformation and growth to be realized and global competitiveness enhanced if well developed and harnessed”.
It noted that there must be a conscious funding collaborations and synergy between the public and private sectors to promote investments in research and value-chain development.
The communique which identified poor funding as a albatross underscored the critical role of science and technology, research and innovation in the country’s quest for development.
It however, called for deliberate, practical and concerted efforts, coordinated by the government, using the instrumentality of its agencies to develop local technologies through the development of science and modern technology, with a view to producing products that can meet international standards as well as enjoy increased local patronage.
While frowning at the non-committal attitude of government in the area of promoting indigenous technological development, it advocated the need for the leadership of the country to be visionary and to provide good governance for sustainable development.
It therefore, called for the re-evaluation of the country’s value and reward systems in order to retain the country’s best brains who will champion the desired knowledge-based development as obtainable in advanced countries.
IDRIS UMAR MOMOH, BENIN