President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday disclosed that the World Bank will spend an additional $3 million in a bid to support Nigeria\’s effort to diversify its economy through the establishment of six tech hubs across the country\’s geopolitical zones. It should be recalled that the World Bank, during the first tranche of the Federal Government\’s technology initiative, supported a batch of Nigerian tech hubs with $3 million.
Vice President Yemi Osinbanjo, who was representing the President, said this in Abuja during the commencement of the 2018 Science and Technology Innovation Expo which had the theme, \”Fast-tracking the Sustainable Development of Nigeria through Science and Technology\”.
In his speech, the President reiterated the government\’s commitment to support and strengthen technological innovations in the country, even as he advocated for a partnership between the government and the private sector towards a successful actualisation of this goal.
Speaking further, the President noted that part of his administration\’s effort to create an emerging technology environment in Nigeria has been the approval of a new Science and Technology Policy, in addition to approving the National Strategy for competitiveness in raw materials and product development in Nigeria.
He also stated that Nigeria is in desperate need of innovation. According to him, all the challenges facing Nigeria are obvious indicators that groundbreaking, home-made innovations are needed towards solving them.
The Federal Government plans to strengthen the technology and innovation ecosystem by supporting the development of new innovation hubs in partnership with the private sectors, and this is well on course. We have recently concluded a competitive selection process of private sector entities that will implement and manage the hubs. Each of this hubs will focus solely on the market challenges peculiar to the region of the country in which each is located.
Science and technology are key instruments for the realisation of the objectives of our National Economic and Growth Plan (NERG) 2017-2020.
Our goal of moving the Nigerian economy away from a resource-based to a knowledge-based model is one that we must take seriously and the ERGP is a step in that direction.
Innovation will create jobs, it will attract investment, it will boost export, it will grow our economy. These are parts of the positive impacts that it will have on our image and perception around the world. -President Muhammadu Buhari
Nigeria has a promising tech industry which has the potential to transform the economy for the better. This industry has in the past received support from global tech giants such as Microsoft and Google. It has also been supported by tech figures like Mark Zuckerberg and even global organisations such as the World Bank.