By Martin Ekpeke
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, has indicated that what Nigeria needs to drive sustainable economy growth is creating microeconomic environment, where investment in science, technology and innovation (STI) can be encouraged.
The apex bank governor argues that is what drive the nation’s economies. “Globally, development is largely driven by the ability to develop, distribute and exploit intelligence to achieve competitive edge, create wealth and improve on the welfare of the citizenry using STIs,” Emefiele stated in a lecture titled: ‘Financing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Development of Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria,’ which he delivered to the participants of Senior Executive Course 39 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
According to Emefiele, who was represented by the CBN’s Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Barau, noted that other nations in Asia and Europe have leveraged Information and Communications Technology to breakthrough challenges in financing into limitless opportunities.
He said this is the only way to leapfrog and massively develop Nigeria’s economy, instead of relying on budgetary allocations, which he described as abysmally low. He disclosed for instance, that the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Science and Technology for 2015, 2016 and 2017 as a percentage of the total was an abysmal 0.66 per cent, 0.87 per cent and 0.93 per cent of total budgetary provision respectively.
He believes this is too low to achieve the drive towards harnessing STI to develop agro-allied industries as well as other sectors, he said.