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FG seeks more private sector investment for STI

The ministers with guests at a breakfast meeting with Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos. Photo:

Federal Government has called on entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and the business community to invest more capital and ideas into the development of science, technology and innovation, STI in Nigeria.

The minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made the call during a breakfast meeting with Nigerian entrepreneurs in Lagos.

The breakfast meeting between the Federal government, entrepreneurs and captains of industries was to create synergy on how investment through the private sector could be utilized for the overall development of Science, Technology and Innovation for Nigeria’s socio-economic benefit.

Dr Onu said that efforts of the Federal government to grow STI in the country have not been enough and the need for venture capitalists was crucial for the speedy development of the sector.

He said; “Venture capitalists in the technologically developed countries, play the very important role of transforming ideas into goods, by taking the necessary risks. In the absence of venture capitalists, we need to involve our top-rated entrepreneurs who are major risk-takers in the development process. For so long we have been dealing with manufacturers, but we need to utilize the risk bearers who will constitute the major off-takers of the products of scientific research and innovation activities by our scientists all over the country.”

The Minister further explained to the entrepreneurs that necessary legal and policy frameworks have been laid out to create the needed conducive environment.

According to Dr Onu, the business community was the most formidable member of the STI Ecosystem. In his words; “I am convinced that you constitute the most formidable member of the STI Ecosystem, and hence provide the best mechanism to transform existing research and development breakthroughs and findings to wealth through commercialization for industrial and services application.”

The Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, said that the Ministry was looking forward to leveraging on their wealth of experience in businesses towards better application of scientific research and development outcomes for value addition.

Mr Abdullahi told the business communities to let the agencies know their needs for possible collaboration.

Business guru, Pascal Dozie, who delivered a speech titled “Building Strategic Partnership between Science, Technology and Innovation community and Nigerian Entrepreneurs” said that the essence of the meeting was to foster effective collaboration among the critical stakeholders within the STI ecosystem that will lead to significant inclusive development and growth of Nigeria.

He expressed optimism that a robust framework for the full commercialization of key innovations can be achieved.

Writing by Rabi Momoh; editing by Abdullahi Lamino