Shettima gives NPC assignments on science, technology-based solutions for job creation and economic growth

Vice President Kashim Shettima has tasked the National Productivity Center (NPC) to provide science and technology-based solutions to accelerate the growth of the Nigerian economy and, by extension, create more jobs for the teeming unemployed population of the country.

The Vice President said this at the fifth National Productivity Summit, in Abuja, with the theme: “Achieving higher productivity and national development through the use of science, technology and innovation.”

He warned that at the pace the world is evolving technologically by adapting to new and emerging trends, Nigeria will either bite the bullet and join the competition or risk being left behind.

Represented by the Special Adviser to the President of the National Productivity Council and Climate Change, Rukaiya El-Rufai, Shettima asserted that Nigeria must prioritize deliberate investments in science, technologies and innovation.

According to him, the current administration, which has recognized the importance of new and emerging trends, has been strategic in adopting innovative measures in implementing policies and programs around President Bola Tinubu’s eight-point agenda, which he said has been ruthless in promoting partnerships. with leading companies and research institutions to expand the Nigerian economy.

He said: “It is often said that Africa is missing the opportunities presented by the past three phases of industrialization. This has resulted in development problems that we are now trying to overcome.

“The Fourth Revolution therefore offers not only an opportunity for redemption, but also for those of us in positions of power and influence to deliver solutions shaped and exploited by the most advanced innovations in science and technology.”

“We are in an era that presents us with a stark choice; either to compete with the world or risk falling behind.

“We must recognize the potential of new technology in science and technology to serve as an advantage. This progress can help us leapfrog our solutions and save our economy from implosion.”

The Vice President further noted that Nigeria’s hopes go beyond the mere statistics of the country’s youthful population, with an average age of 18 years, as the country could achieve much if science and technology were given priority .

“We know what a country can achieve when it prioritises science and technology. The achievements of our high-performing young people serve as a shining example

“It is essential to recognize that our progress in science and technology innovation depends on our ability to develop a succession plan that empowers young Nigerians to lead our reforms and initiatives where we have observed excellent capabilities of our youth in various fields from artificial intelligence to numerous sciences.

“This is why our prime task is to ensure that Nigeria becomes the most conducive environment for our talented youths to make significant progress in shaping the future of science and technology.

“The task ahead for organizations like the Productivity Center is to engage and conceptualize solutions and opportunities across the spectrum of sectors, ranging from biodiversity to space technology, through innovation.

“It is critical to align these efforts with our national ambitions. The stakes are high because if we don’t act now, our progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals will be jeopardized. We must act to ensure our collective success in addressing pressing challenges and advancing our country’s development agenda. We must remember that the key to advancing science and technology lies in nurturing a dynamic, knowledge-based economy and facilitating the free flow of ideas.”

Minister of Labor and Employment, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, noted that despite various economic plans by successive governments, Nigeria’s economic growth and development appears to be developing at “snail’s pace”.

She said: “Studies conducted by the National Productivity Center have shown that Nigeria’s commitment to productivity improvement over the years has been on the low side and as such, development goals have hardly been achieved while poverty remained high even despite the opportunities for rapid and sustainable economic growth.

“The country has performed poorly in terms of productivity, having achieved at best marginal improvements in its productivity profile, resulting in high levels of poverty. About 35 percent of the population lives in extreme poverty.

“Our government aims to create jobs for our teeming creative, innovative and dynamic unemployed youth through various programs designed to empower them in line with science, technology and innovation.”

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