Despite the many economic improvements that the Buhari administration promised, the economic situation in Nigeria has hit an unprecedented low point as the country faces its worst economic recession and its currency valuation dwindling. Dr. Adeleke Olorunnimbe, the Minister for Science, Technology and innovation, however stated that the COVID-19 outbreak affected the economic development being made by the current administration. This was disclosed during the flag-off of the National Dialogue between the Government and investors of Science, Technology and Innovation Ecosystem, where the establishment and implementation of an improved technological ambience for global competitiveness and productivity was discussed.
This event, themed “Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Improved Foreign Exchange Earnings through Science, Technology and Innovation” witnessed numerous stakeholders discuss measures by which the tech space can be enacted to improve the country’s economic situation. The minister asserted that the pandemic exposed the infrastructural inadequacies in areas like healthcare and social security. He also said that the unemployment rate which skyrocketed during the pandemic caused a swift regression over all the developments achieved over the years.
President Buhari enhancing government’s response to change.
Adeleke said that it was regrettable that the aftereffects of the pandemic on the social and economic systems have indicated the lack of innovation that would have improved the country, making it more inclusive, sustainable and resilient. On the role of the president in improving this situation, he noted that President Buhari has enhanced the government’s response to change, as well as the collaborative efforts between the government and stakeholders. He admitted that in past years, the roles of science and technology had been degraded but as a result of the regression in the country’s foreign exchange market earnings, there was a need to look inward and assess the impact that inculcating science and technology can play in reversing this socioeconomic dilemma.
The minister also said that it was poignant to note that there were declines in the numerous areas of productivity that have also contributed to the lack of improvement in the country’s economic development which is why the current administration has been working to enhance growth and economic recovery by shifting its policies to include science, technology and innovation. He further noted that with this economic transformation, there is a growing readiness to improve the productivity and sustainability of the economy.
Covid-19 emergence negatively impacted businesses in Nigeria.
While these plans were in place, to be enacted, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic caused a significant negative effect on the businesses in Nigeria, hereby affecting the country’s economic progression. Adeleke explained that the Buhari administration has inculcated an enhanced governmental response to this change, with social safety, net protection and a strong financial framework designed for the transformation of the economic development. He however disclosed that more work must be pumped into this design for the actualization of this goal.
On some of the plans being enacted by this administration, he noted that the Research and Development ability, the capability of the country on planning and governance and also a much-improved healthcare system we’re being introduced to further enhance the resilience of all sectors in the country. Commending this event, Adeleke asserted that it would help the investors in proactively proffering efficient strategies to support the country’s monetary and fiscal policies.
Advanced technology to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s economic challenges.
Adeleke noted that the success of this innovative ecosystem is solely dependent on factors like immense knowledge generation areas (universities, laboratories and research centers) and the collaboration between these knowledge generation centers and commercial businesses. He further emphasized that with the trajectory of business and research and development being an important factor for the country’s economic development, the more technological advancements will definitely proffer the right solutions to the economic challenges that has ravaged the country.