FG implements O.5% GDP allocation to promote tech, innovation

The Federal Government has begun processes for the implementation of the 0.5 percent of GDP allocated to science technology and innovation (STI) to boost creativity and socio-economic development in Nigeria.

President Muhammdu Buhari had declared at the 2021 edition of the annual STI Expo, that 0.5 percent of the country’s GDP will be channelled towards the development of STI to ensure continuous productivity and sustainability of the Nation.

Minister of science, technology and innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, speaking at the consultative meeting aimed at developing strategies for the implementation of the allocation on Tuesday in Abuja, stated that countries that have made giant strides in sustaining their economy invest in the STI sectors, which have guaranteed their continuous growth as well sustain their industrial development.

According to the minister, the decision to increase the nation’s STI funding was taken at the African Union’s executive council in 2006 to establish a target for all member states to allocate 1 percent of the GDP investment in research and development. The meeting, he added, has offered the opportunity to work out strategies for attaining the implementation of 0.5 percent of the GDP to STI sector.

Read also: Higher GDP growth, interest rate hike expected in 2022

Earlier, the minister of state, Mohammed Abdullahi said that STI and its integration in the socio-economic development process must be accorded the highest priority through adequate funding of research and development.

He added that Nigeria must emulate countries like China, Singapore and other Asian countries, by taking decisive action in investing heavily in STI; this will put the nation on a path of viable and sustainable economic growth.

According to the minister, the Federal Government has resolved to allocate 0.5% to R&D sector in a bid to fully actualise its diversification agenda, as part of its effort to put the country on the pedestal of global competitiveness.

The Gombe State commissioner of science, technology and innovation, Aishatu Umar Maigari called for the inclusion of people who are not in the R&D sector to be partakers of the increased funding for STI.

In a goodwill message, Mustapha Mahmud Kanti Bello, commissioner for rural development and education and overseeing for STI, Katsina State described the increased funding as a welcome development that could unlock the economic potentials in the country.