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FG commits 0.5 percent of GDP to R&D

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By Usman Oladimeji

This move would drive meaningful developments in the country.

The President Bola Tinubu’s administration has reaffirmed its commitment in fostering research and development (R&D) as plans have been revealed to allocate 0.5% of the nation’s GDP to Research and Development in order to accelerate progress. This decision aligns with the African Union Executive Council’s resolution in 2006, which called for all member nations to invest 1% of their GDP in Research and Development. Tinubu emphasized the importance of this move to drive meaningful development in the country. It also denotes the government recognition of its importance in enhancing innovation and productivity to address the challenges faced by this vital sector of the economy.

Tinubu emphasized the importance of accelerating the development of the Innovation, Science, and Technology (IST) Sector by working closely with the National Economic Council. This commitment was reiterated during the Science, Technology, and Innovation expo in Abuja on March 11, where President Tinubu, represented by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Sen. George Akume, assured of the government commitment to accelerating innovation, reducing unemployment, and stemming capital flight by encouraging the implementation of the National Policy on Welding and Welding Related Fields.

Enhancing investment in research and development is vital.

Chief Uche Nnaji, the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, expressed optimism about Nigeria’s future, noting the country’s positive trajectory utilizing STI to maximize its natural and human resources. Nnaji said the country should creating a conducive work environment that fosters the application of STI skills to fully realize the nation’s potential. He mentioned that examining the economic strategies of Japan and certain other Asian nations can offer valuable insights, given their substantial investments in Research and Development which have benefited their economic status.

According to him, Expo 2024’s theme signifies the significance of learning from these instances and adopting strategic tactics to leverage STI’s potential in addressing our economic hurdles. Enhancing investment in research and development is vital for driving innovation, progress, and competitiveness in all fronts. Nigeria’s dedication to research and development has piqued curiosity due to the perceived inconsistency in government investments in this area. Meanwhile, the extensive opportunities it presents have a significant impact on steering the course of societal progress and development.

R&D spending in the country has steadily increased.

Data from Statista show that in 2020, Nigeria’s investment in research and development (R&D) was estimated at 1.3 billion U.S. dollars, according to data from Statista. Over the years, R&D spending in the country has steadily increased. For instance, in 2022, Nigeria dedicated around 1.5 billion U.S. dollars towards research and development efforts. Advancements in research have paved the way for the growth of science and technology, leading to industrialization, the creation of new jobs, higher incomes, greater output of products and services, and innovation.

Research is seen as essential and goes well beyond mere acknowledgment. Engaging in research offers numerous benefits, such as promoting innovation, improving critical thinking, gaining trustworthy knowledge, expanding intellectual perspectives, tackling difficult challenges, and boosting overall skills. However, experts have noted a lack of significant contributions from Nigeria to global research on tropical diseases and medicine. Just as its population is prominent, Nigeria should also strive to take the lead in research, innovation, and cultural development within sub-Saharan Africa.

Related Article: ₦918b alloted for research & devt. in 10 years

It is crucial for the Nigerian government to prioritize funding for research and development in order to harness the expertise of its innovators for comprehensive growth across all industries. Both federal and state governments must focus their resources on enhancing agricultural and scientific research to drive meaningful change. Universities, research institutes, and the private sector must work together in harmony. By forming strong partnerships with private companies, dormant research institutions can be revitalized, leading to beneficial contributions to the country’s overall progress.

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