The federal government is set to support outstanding parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology with over N2.2 billion rewards to execute specific capital projects of the agencies.
The minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made this known, yesterday in Abuja, during the inauguration of the Competitiveness Assessment Committee to encourage healthy competition among the 17 agencies of the ministry towards facilitating sustainable development of Nigeria hinged on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI).
Onu said: “These agencies were established at different times and charged with different mandates. This competition, we are instituting, is aimed at fostering hard work and encouraging the agencies to focus on their mandates.”
According to him, “The agencies will be ranked from 1st to 17th. While the first will be supported with the sum of N1, 000, 000, 000 .00, the second and third will be given N750, 000, 000. 00 and N500, 000, 000. 00 respectively to support specific capital projects of the agencies. It is my hope that in the future, the ministry will increase the amount to be won by the agencies. It may also decide to make it an annual event. As of now, it is a bi-annual event.”
The 17-member committee drawn from professional bodies, international organisations and various ministries, departments and agencies of government were given the terms of reference of developing assessment template that will take cognizance of peculiarities of the agencies; assess agencies adherence to their mandates; assess the number of patented research and development results, interventions and innovations; commercialised research and development results; level of local content utilisation in research and development among others.
The minister charged the committee to ensure adherence to fairness while assessing the agencies, even as he urged them to make their report available before the end of August, 2018.
In his response, the committee chairman and president of the Nigeria Academy of Science (NAS), Prof Motso Onuoha, thanked the minister for the task given to the agency, saying they will try their best to deliver on the onerous task.
“It’s going to be a very tough work for the committee because there are 17 agencies under the ministry with different objectives but they’ll try their best to give their best. We will try our best to justify the faith reposed on us,” he added.
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