Nigerias' Grassroots Development linked with Science, Technology and Innovation - NACETEM
By Abisola Ariwodola,
The future of Nigerias' development have been earmarked to thrive on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) usage in sectors of the economy for sustainable development.
This is as it targets creation of Science, Technology and Innovation at local council areas and the grassroots for rural advancement and accessibility.
The disclosure was made at a 2-day Science, Technology and Innovation Management Forum, themed:The Roles of STI in Development at the Grassroots, organized by National Center for Technology Management NACETEM, held at the Nacetem Seminar Room A, Obafemi Awolowo University OAU Ile-Ife on Thursday.
Declaring the forum opened with his opening remarks, the Chairman Governing Board NACETEM, Hon (Sir) Haastrup Adewale Olatunji pointed out that the year 2022 Science Technology and Innovation Management Forum, designed for technocrats to interface on topical issues is tailored towards grassroot development because the global pandemic have left the world in chaos, he added that the worst hit were rural dwellers who have little or no access to basic amenities.
Hon (Sir) Olatunji reiterated that NACETEM in its objective of guaranteeing a sustainable and just way forward, choose to harness the power of science technology and innovation to address most of the challenges people at the grassroots are experiencing, he added that with the many challenges, "we cannot afford to leave anyone behind in finding lasting solutions to issues".
Highlighting that developed nations of the world have used science technology and innovation to a great advantage which is evident in their strides in all facets of life, he maintained that Nigeria as a rapidly developing economy must as a matter of urgency begin to drive her development with STI, stressed that this will bring development to the supposedly unreached of the society quickly.
In his lecture tagged "The roles of Science, Technology and Innovation STI in Development at the Grassroots", Prof W. O Siyanbola (former DG/CEO NACETEM), echoed that "what gives a nation or state competitive edge is not just it's natural endowments, but what it knows, how it uses what it knows and what it does with what it knows".
He averred that Science Technology and Innovation combines knowledge with the ability to produce and use tools and technology in order to solve real life problems, saying that STI requires skills, creativity, knowledge and ideas through adoption of system innovation approach, which must involve stakeholders, guided by policy direction and creation of needed facilities to boost STI.
In the second lecture titled: "The politics of STI Management for Development at the Grassroots", presented by Prof Yinusa Olalekan, Osun Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, he maintained that socio economic development is achievable with disruptive, incremental, sustaining and radical technology newness.
Prof Yinusa represented by Dr Adebayo Adedokun SSA to Gov Oyetola on Economic Planning and Budget, affirmed that technology is going radical, hence its stages, block change, technology among others must be understood, he identified strategy link with innovation, leadership vision, room to innovate with creativity, involvement of everyone and Implementation of the strategy into tactical plans as the factors for innovation management.
Earlier in his goodwill message, Carlo Piertrobelli, UNESCO Science Director opined that Science Technology and Innovation STI is a solution to social innovation, said innovative research breeds development, adding that the knowledge for innovation is important, and with NACETEM producing necessary elements according to the quantity requirements demanded, points to coordinates of well functioning innovation through policy beneficial to all.
Dr Abiodun Egbetokun speaking about the forum, stated that significant problems faced can be addressed with simple scientific technological innovation solutions, he added that innovation is necessary to promote growth and development in the present country of Nigerians, he gave more information about the STI Forum to the participants drawn from states of the country.
Also in his welcome address, the overseeing Director General/Chief Executive Officer NACETEM, Dr John Omimakinde reiterated that the STI Forum was conceived with the aim of reaching out to the unreached of the society, particularly at the grassroots area, said with the attention placed on urban areas at the expense of rural advancement, issues resulting to stunt growth occurs at the grassroots level thereby leaving the rural dwellers vulnerable.
Dr Omimakinde proffered that NACETEM beaming its searchlight on science technology and innovation as a panacea to solving the underdevelopment at the grassroots, is because Science, Technology and Innovation holds the key to the present and future development of the society, with it's roles in wealth creation, improvement of the quality of life and real economic growth and transformation in the society.
The Director General/Chief Executive Officer highlighted to the gathering that the STI Forum have policy makers and STI practitioners as change makers who are selected to come up with practicable ways through which science, technology and innovation can be deployed to solving developmental challenges at the grassroots over issues that STI can easily solve and make beneficial development wise.
At the program which include physical and virtual participation, practical challenges at the grassroots and solutions to identified issues were discussed and evaluated at the 2-day Science Technology and Innovation STI Management Forum, which includes Scientists, technologists, policy makers, government functionaries, information Officers, Civil Societies and Key practitioners in the private sectors among others.