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Nigeria to build Science and Tech Park

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The park programme has transformed the growth of nations that adopt it.

At a seminar for stakeholders in Abuja on the development and maintenance of Science and Technology Parks and the incorporation of technology planning in Nation Building, Dr. Adeleke Mamora, Nigeria’s Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, stated that Science and Technology Parks are necessary for an emerging market like Nigeria’s Productivity and competitiveness. Mrs. Monilola Udoh, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary who represented him, noted that the Park initiative had been widely commended as a crucial platform that has radically changed the course of advancement in the countries that have adopted it.

This strategy has been implemented on a large scale in China, and as a direct outcome, China has developed into a technologically advanced nation that is home to more than 120 Science and Technology S&T Parks. With the help of S&T Parks as an instrument of regional development, China has rapidly risen to prominence as the research and development (R&D) and Manufacturing hub for multinational corporations. The minister remarked that China now manufactures nearly everything to international standards, including Smartphones, autos, equipment, etc.

Ideas and innovations will be nurtured and materialized at the park.

It was noted by the minister that the Science and Technology Parks continue to be a place where ideas are fostered, and he mentioned some of the benefits to national economies that can be derived from them. Promote and efficiently oversee the sharing of information and expertise between educational institutions, research labs, commercial enterprises, and consumer markets; Offer high-quality space and facilities, as well as real world services like incubation and spin-offs, to help innovate-based startups get off the ground and thrive, he said.

Furthermore, Dr. Mamora pledged that the research and development capabilities of Nigerians will be further accelerated and that greater outcomes will be accomplished once the National Research and Innovation Council NRIC and the National Research and Innovation Funds NRIF are now functional. The minister further detailed that the Agency is already working with local and foreign organizations as well as growth partners to support the execution of the SHESTCO Science and Technology Park.

Economic development of a country is dependent on its education investment.

According to Dr. Paul Onyenekwe, General Director of the Sheda Science and Technology Complex SHESTCO, an innovation-driven Economy necessitates significant Investment in training and knowledge. In today’s era of rapid technological advancement and intense global competition, businesses must actively seek out competitive advantages, such as early access to new information. Industry, university, and Research Institute collaboration has thus emerged as a feasible enabling remedy for the transfer and corporatization of technologies and as a platform for new innovations, he said.

The SHESTCO leader continued by saying that the Science Park Initiative, also referred to as the Silicon Valley projects, acknowledges the significance of enhancing and developing relations between the Nigerian government, expertise and research institutions, and industry. A science and technology park, according to the International Association of Science Parks, is a company run by experts whose primary objective is to boost the wealth of both its local and the nation as a whole by fostering an innovative Culture and the performance of its industry and knowledge-based entities.

A 79.5-hectare site at SHESTCO will now house the innovation.

Since 2006, the Ministry has advocated the foundation of Science and Technology Parks in Nigeria, according to Dr. Mamora. After conducting a nationwide baseline survey in 2007 to ascertain the situation of Science, Engineering, Technology, and Innovation SETI in the nation, it was proposed to establish six Science Parks, one for each of the nation’s six geo-political zones. Dr. Mamora explained that in 2009, plans to build six separate Science Parks were scrapped in favor of developing the 79.5-hectare site at the Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO) in Sheda, Abuja.


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