It is with great pleasure that I welcome you all to this first meeting of the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) which was inaugurated on 18TH February, 2014.
I am aware that Nigeria must accord high priority to Science and Technology if it must take its rightful place among the leading economies in the modern world. Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the twenty largest economies in the world by the year 2020 is only attainable when Science, Technology and Innovation are fully integrated into our national socio-economic development process. That process will now be fast tracked with the coming on board of this Council.
I wish to assure this Council of my determination and commitment to ensure that as a nation, we will invest appropriately in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) in order to guarantee our competitiveness both continentally and globally. Our goal to secure our nation, grow our economy, create jobs and fight crime can best be achieved if we embrace science and technology.
It is my fervent hope that our research and innovation output should be measured by number of Intellectual Property such as patents granted and not only by the number of articles published in scholarly journals. By this action, Nigeria will become a Centre of discoveries, inventions and innovation in all fields of science and technology. Before long we should be in a position to produce Nobel Laureates in the sciences.
The NRIC is geared towards coordinating and streamlining the nation’s research and development activities as well as fostering innovation. It is designed to accelerate the growth of innovation-based entrepreneurship in the country and to create conditions for the commercialization of current and further research findings in our universities and research institutes.
Your Council is also expected to reposition STI as a national priority to guarantee sustainability, high standard of living and quality of life for Nigerians as well as fast-track industrial and economic development. In this regard, the Council will meet quarterly to consider and take vital decisions on STI related issues.
Distinguished members of the Council, it is noteworthy that the government structure of the NRIC provides for the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of technocrats from the various relevant MDAs and the Organized Private Sector (OPS) to ensure full implementation of resolutions of the NRIC.
TAC which is to be headed by the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology is expected to meet on a monthly basis. To carry out its functions the NRIC will be guided by the Strategic Implementation Plan of the revised policy on STI. I therefore wish to charge you all to use your best endeavour and wealth of experience to ensure that this big responsibility placed on you is discharged in the most effective and efficient way so that the tools of Science, Technology and Innovation are adequately deployed towards the development of our country.
I ask for your commitment, hard-work and total support in this endeavour in order to justify the confidence reposed in you. The country looks forward to you to be the spearhead of our technological progress and achievements.
Thank you and may God bless our Country.
— REMARKS BY PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, AT THE MEETING OF THE NATIONAL RESEARCH AND INNOVATION COUNCIL HELD ON THURSDAY, 7TH JANUARY, 2016 AT THE PRESIDENTIAL VILLA, ABUJA