Chief Uche Nnaji 

The Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji on Monday spelt out what needs to be done for Nigeria to take her place among great science and  technological nations on the globe.

He said: “In today’s rapidly evolving world, the pace of technological advancements is not just fast,  it is exponential. Nations that have recognized and harnessed the power of research, development, and innovation are leading the charge towards economic prosperity, societal well-being, and sustainable development. It is time for Nigeria to take its rightful place among these nations.”

The Minister spoke  in Abuja during the opening of the National Research, Development and Innovation Coordination Summit.

He said for Nigeria “to achieve this, we must first acknowledge that our RDI ecosystem requires robust coordination, one that is resilient, inclusive, and forward-thinking. Our goal is to create a system where academia, industry, government, and the community not only interact but thrive together, fostering an environment ripe for groundbreaking innovations.”


He added that: “Our vision for Nigeria is to become a hub for African innovation, contributing significantly to the global knowledge economy. This can be achieved by implementing a three-pronged approach:


“Strengthening Institutional Frameworks:    It is imperative that we build and strengthen the institutional frameworks necessary for effective RDI coordination. This includes policy reforms that incentivize research and development, protect intellectual properties, and facilitate the commercialization of research outcomes.


“Fostering Public-Private Partnerships: The collaboration between the public sector, private industry, and academic institutions is crucial. By fostering partnerships that leverage the strengths of each sector, we can accelerate the translation of research into market-ready solutions that address our most pressing challenges.


“Investing in Human Capital: At the heart of any successful RDI ecosystem are the people. Investing in education and training to build a skilled workforce ready to navigate and lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is non-negotiable. We must nurture our young talents and provide them with the platforms to excel and innovate.”

The Minister said with the theme of the gathering being: “Advancing Nigeria’s Global Competitiveness, Through a Resilient National RDI Coordination,’’ it is not just a statement of intent; it is a clarion call to action.

He added that: “The journey to enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness through resilient RDI coordination is a collective endeavor.

"We want to bring out all the innovations, the researches we have in the shelf and develop them and that is the fulcrum of my involvement as a minister."

Chief Strategy Officer of West and Central African Research and Education Network ( WACREN), Mr Omo Oaiya, said one of the things they do was the Pan-African Initiative to Strengthen Open Science in Africa.

He said: "As part of that, we are also working with countries in different events like this to drive cooperation and collaboration so that we can reap the benefits of such an endeavor.

"So RIKE SD is our local facilitator here. But between both of us, we have been able to create a new impetus in the Nigerian RDI coordination space.

“The main goal of this activity is to bring the different RDI actors together to look at a way of co-creating a future that we can build on.

"We are trying to align this with the presidential priorities that have been announced and the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Oaiya also said the essence of the summit was to bring international connections to support activity within Nigeria to drive RDI forward.

Global Impact lead, Research for Impact Knowledge Economy and Sustainable Development( RIKE SD), Dr Mustapha Popoola, on his part said part of what they are trying to do today was what we call research, development, innovation coordination.

He explained that "RIKE SD is a Nigerian non-for-profit organisation that has a Pan-African scope.

"We are the first research as a service organisation in Nigeria who is looking at taking research, development, innovation, outcomes and output from Nigeria to other African countries.

"For the first time we know that for us to have results based on the directive of Mr. President, we should actually institutionalise the use of research and development outcomes in ministry agencies and departments.

"it is important for us to get coordinated and know what we can offer. We are using an approach, we call it pentagonal nexus whereby the government is going to be working alongside with the industry, academia, and at the same time we are focusing on the community that are going to use those outcomes of research at community level."

President-elect Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Abubakar Sambo, said the summit is expected to look into the eight areas of the Renewed Hope Agenda

It will bring out how research and development, and in particular science, technology and innovation research can be used to significantly impact those eight areas of Mr. President.

"It is to bring up what are needed to be undertaken to boost development of the country through programs that involve research, development and innovation, and also through policy making.

"It is very important for the MDAs to incorporate in their yearly programs, aspects that will be boosted through the outputs of research, development and innovation activities", Sani said.

Also speaking, Chairman Tech India Ltd, Dr. Shabihul Hassan,, said that the whole concept of research, development and innovation is collaboration.

"We have been connecting, collaborating with intellectuals, with members of the public and private sector to see how we can foster growth in the agri-sector, in the health sector, in the power sector, in the infrastructure sector.

"The key is teamwork. This is teamwork within the country, outside the country, collaborating nationally, internationally, and collaborating between the public and private sectors.

"So the private sector sets the way, it sets the standard. The public sector competes. The public sector also becomes competent, equally competent. So it's collaborative work.

"The purpose of conferences like this is to bring people together, especially intellectuals, people with knowledge, different backgrounds, different countries. And that is the key to development," he said.

Highlights of the conference is the call by all stakeholders thar there is urgent need for the creation of National Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem in Nigeria.