Science and Technology Advocacy Initiative, (SYNTECH) a coalition of NGOs has called for the full implementation of the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Executive Order No 5 as canvassed by the country’s Minister of Science, Technology & Innovation(STI), Mr Uche Nnaji.
The Executive Order 5, signed in 2018 emphasis the utilization of Science, technology and innovation instruments and platforms for a viable and sustainable economic growth and rapid transformation of the national economy.
Speaking recently in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, Nnaji stressed that the Order is a transformative policy designed to drive innovation, promote science and technology, and catalyse Nigeria’s economic diversification, technological advancement, promotion of domestic and foreign investments.
The National Co-ordinator of SYNTECH, a Non-governmental Coalition, Engr. Faith Nwadishi while reacting to the Minister’s remarks said that the pronouncement was “a bold step on the right direction, adding that it will serve as catalyst for advancing Science, Technology and Innovation adoption and adaptation utilization for building genuine local capacity for the development of both human and material resources of the country.
“Nobody climbs a tree from the top. The development of any country must start from the home front, making its way up the ladder for sustainable growth and development,” Nwadishi said.
She said the coalition’s mission, which is to participate in all activities aimed at enhancing quality of lives of fellow citizens through the promotion of science, technology and associated initiatives aligns with the focus of the Order.
“We are determined to engage institutions and to carry out actions amongst the general populace, using informed analysis, recommendations and programmes channelled towards poverty eradication, promotion of a viable political economy direction and for the general development of our society,” Nwadishi said in affirmation of the group’s support for the call by the minister.
Adding, she said, “Kick-starting economic transformation with the instruments of Science, Technology, and Innovation holds the fundamental keys and road map to Nigeria’s growth and development. It is in the regard that SYNTECH wishes to express its unalloyed determination to build the needed synergy with the Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation (STI) and other stakeholders to enable Nigeria meet up with the rest of the world in the spheres of science and technology.”
In a statement by the Samuel Ogbeifun, Public Relations Officer of the coalition, Nwadishi said, “SYNTECH believes the long awaited policy trust needed to build effective collaboration and partnership has been given by the Presidential Order No.5, so the nation, stakeholders, research institutions, development partners and Civil Societies cannot afford to keep silent anymore, but to join forces with the government to develop home-grown capacity to redesign, reproduce and duplicate any infrastructure to achieve Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.”
Realizing that the STI had been a neglected sector since the nation’s 63 year of independence, she said SYNTECH, a coalition of four non-governmental organizations has resolved not only to speak and advocate promotion of the sector, but to also carry out projects and programmes including policy initiatives to assist the ministries, government agencies, stakeholders in the areas of awareness creation, building of national consensus on the relevance of science and technology optimization in order to tackle unemployment and poverty amongst Nigerians.
“SYNTECH hopes to bring the Science, Technology and Innovation Sector to the front burner of national discourse soon in its advocacy programmes, and stimulate national debates on what needs to be done to pull Nigeria out of the dependency syndrome that has resulted in the unabated importation of goods and services into the country, thereby hampering home-grown and sustainable development potentials of the country,” Nwadishi said.
The National Co-ordinator said the group, which is non-partisan, is committed to change the sad narrative of neglect of the Science, Technology and Innovation component of Nigeria’s development masterplan and implementation within the nation’s political economy, while also expressing optimism to ultimately attract national and international recognitions leading to the growth of domestic products and services in Nigeria.