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Funding Research: Minister Calls for Establishment of R/D Bank

BY Seun Adams

The Minister of State for Science and Technology, Barr. Abdullahi Mohammed, has advocated the establishment of a bank to fund research and development in Nigeria’s Science Technology and Innovation space.

He admitted that proper implementation of government’s STI policies will catapult Nigeria to be one of the most industrialised nations of the world.

The Minister made the disclosure on Tuesday at the opening ceremony of a 3-day capacity building workshop jointly hosted by the Ministry and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), in Abuja.

He said the STI sector has enjoyed steady progress in the last 8 years, due to policy implementation in areas such as solar technology, road research, biotechnology capacity development and many other crucial areas.

Barr. Mohammed said: “To mitigate against the challenge of funding, FMST is strongly advocating the establishment of R&D bank to close the gap in the absence of Venture Capitalists to support the commercialisation of research and development findings.

The Minister however called for awareness creation, developing monitoring indicators, garnering state level cooperation and ensuring stakeholder participation.

Earlier, the Director Dakar Regional office and Organisation of Islamic Corporation (OIC) Abuja Regional Office, Dr. Dimitri Sanga, said that the recent Covid-19 pandemic is a wake-up call for member nations to invest in and build robust STI eco-systems.

The Secretary General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO, Mr. Olagunji Idowu, said the capacity workshop will go a long way to properly reposition STI policies in the country.

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