Vice President Yemi Osinbajo says the Federal Government will collaborate more with the private sector, especially in the relevant policy formation process and the management of skills centres in the country.
Osinbajo’s spokesman, Mr Laolu Akande, stated on Monday in Abuja, that the vice-president made the declaration when he presided over a meeting of the National Council on Skills (NCS).
The council resolved to give more roles to the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as a means to closing the skills acquisition gap in the country.
Based on the approval of the council, the OPS would be interested into the NCS in its activities.
The OPS will be represented by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria and the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture.
The Nigerian Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, among others will also represent the OPS in the NCS.
The meeting also resolved to, among other things, encourage the establishment of states councils on skills to complement and replicate efforts made at the national level to deeply tackle the issue of skills gap.
Osinbajo said that it was clear that the private sector had critical roles to play in resuscitating many of the skills centres across the country, stating that the sector was better positioned to determine the needs of industries.
The vice-president emphasised the point about creating opportunities for digital skills acquisition as well as other relevant skills across different sectors, also with the active collaboration between the public and private sectors.
“This can be achieved by collaborating with private sector stakeholders to, among other things, get accurate data on the skills gap in the country and how to better address them.
“The establishment and running of the various skills centres should be private sector-driven; it shouldn’t be left to the government alone to manage.
“The industry players know where the gaps exist,’’ he said.
Kano State governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje also shared lessons learnt from operationalisation of the Kano State Skills Acquisition Centre in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation to back up the resolution.
“The Skills Acquisition Centre is being managed in collaboration with the Dangote Foundation as a good example of collaboration with the private sector.
“The objective is to ensure that it is run on a sustainable basis,’’ Ganduje said.
The council also approved the adoption of the revised Nigerian Skills Qualifications Framework, presented by the Executive Secretary of the National Board for Technical Education, Prof. Idris Bugaje.
It is to have a more standardised framework for the certification of skills in the country.
The NCS endorsed the report of the inter-ministerial team on training of youths in relevant trades and skills.
This is especially the sub-committees’ proposals on Training Modules, Building and Works, Information Technology, Agriculture, Automobile Servicing, and Basic Management and Accounting.
Members of council present at the meeting included the deputy governor of Borno, Alhaji Umar Kadafur, Minister of Education, Alhaji Adamu Adamu; and the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo.
Some more were the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Pauline Tallen, and Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Henry Ikoh. Representatives of the Head of Service of the Federation, and the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, among others also attended the meeting.
Mr Henry Ikoh, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation(STI) has emphasised the need for collaboration and synergy in area of human capital development to drive industrialization.
The minister made this emphasis during the courtesy visit of Ms Deemah Yahya, Secretary-General of Digital Corporation Organisation (DCO) to him on Tuesday in Abuja.
“Capacity building is key, when people are gainfully employed, moving them from poverty, African people would not be struggling to go overseas because everything is here.
“We must collaborate in all areas in making sure that there is harmony in the world,’’ he said.
Ikoh said technology transfer was what African people especially Nigerians presently needed in order to fast track globalisation.
The minister said that what was required in terms of digitization was cross-fertilisation of ideas, where people would be trained and retrained to ensure a better society.
According to Ikoh, the whole world was going digital, and that the world was becoming a global village due to digitization.
Ikoh told his visitor that the STI ministry was the mother of all technologies in Nigeria particularly the digital ones.
`He said the ministry was the brain behind everything digital in the country, adding that all the research and development parastatals of the ministry were geared towards a digital economy.
He assured the visitor of the readiness of the ministry to partner with her corporation.
Earlier, Yahya, said she was delighted that Nigeria was a founding member of the organisation.
Yahya said her visit was not only to reiterate their commitment to empower digital transformation of Nigeria, but also to understand the ecosystem and the players in terms of the private sector.
She also listed other key players in the digital transformation process of Nigeria she would be interested to know in order to help them understand how to help support Nigeria’s growth.
She said the DCO was a multilateral organisation with focus on advancing digital economies of member states.
“We represent 12 countries from three different continents, representing 600 million people in population and two trillion dollars in GDP and we are very happy that Nigeria had been a founding member,’’ she said.
Mrs Monisola Udoh, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, remarked that Nigeria was open for partnerships that would support the country’s quest for digital growth.
She said: “We are in the digital economy now, globally and for any nation to take advantage of ICT to grow their economy, create jobs, fight corruption in their environment, must embrace partnerships.
’’ Udoh said,”no nation has it all, hence the need for countries to depend on each other for mutual benefits.
Mr Henry Ikoh, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation(STI), said that the Federal Government is focusing on improving Nigeria’s competitive index in the global market.
The minister also said that the ministry had also established six technology centres across the country.
Ikoh said this while declaring open the North Central Dialogue on the Establishment and Implementation of Technology and Innovation Centres for Global Competitiveness and Productivity in Abuja on Wednesday.
“Continuous improvement in global competitiveness index for Nigeria in the global market is an important task we must continue to pursue to enable our country command equitable share of export in the global market.
’’ Represented by Mrs Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Ikoh said the technology and innovation centres established under the Executive Order No 5 were designed to serve as centres of excellence.
Ikoh said the major objectives of the centres was to improve on the present understanding of the role of STI in the Socio-economic development of Nigeria.
He explained that the centres were also aimed at establishing a framework for consultation, sharing experience, information and practices as well as creating a conducive environment for interaction among the scientists.
“The centres will also serve as a medium for presentation and analysis of research findings and results for possible patenting and commercialization,’’ Ikoh said.
However, the minister expressed concern that over the years, the role of STI in the developmental agenda of the nation was not fully utilised.
He said the dwindling revenue base and hike in foreign exchange rate of the country called for serious concern and the need to look inwards at the active impact of STI in reversing this trend.
According to Ikoh, President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration will continue to support Science Technology and Innovation as a state policy for economic recovery and growth.
The minister said that more needed to be done in STI in Nigeria in order to achieve the desired goal.
Ikoh expressed optimism that after the dialogue on the six zones, stakeholders would come up with a strategy to ensure that the centers would produce tech.
giants and promote learning of new approaches, among others.
Dr Enang Moma, UNESCO’s regional office representative in Nigeria, said the dialogue was about improving Nigeria’s competitiveness in earning foreign exchange using STI.
Moma said UNESCO was willing to assist Nigeria through the ministry to make STI more interesting and more practical.
She also mentioned other areas UNESCO had collaborated with the STI ministry such as helping the ministry revive the STI policy which revolves around competitiveness.
Mr Ibiam Oguejiofo, the National Coordinator of the Strategy Task Office for Presidential Executive Order 5, said the only way Nigeria could grow from consumption to production country was through STI.
Dr Adeleke Mamora, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), has called for sustainable implementation of Executive Order 5 in order to fast track Nigeria’s economic development.
The minister made the call at the inauguration of the National Dialogue on the Establishment and Implementation of the Technology and Innovation Centres for Global Competitiveness and Productivity in Abuja on Tuesday.
He said the main reason for the establishment of the Executive Order 5 by President Muhammadu Buhari was the consideration that the trajectories in business, research and development were the main drivers of innovation.
Mamora said these included sound policies which led to good technological progress towards accelerating the goals of sustainability and shared prosperity.
“ The Innovation ecosystems of the country are geared towards a drive aimed at generation of ideas, their translation into products, and the commercialization of these products on a large scale.
“ It is a known fact that the success of this is dependent on several factors, such as a very strong knowledge-generation area and the active collaboration between these knowledge centres and commercial businesses.
“The breakthrough in technologies will definitely deliver the right solutions as the long-term research and development would give the desired breakthrough,’’ Mamora said.
The Minister said the theme of the dialogue: “Achieving Nigeria’s Competitiveness and Improved Foreign Exchange Earnings through Science, Technology and Innovation”, was apt.
According to him, this will enable stakeholders to produce an effective and efficient National Strategy document to support the Monetary, Fiscal as well as trade policies of the government.
Mr Henry Ikoh, Minister of State for STI, said that in order to develop technologically, Nigeria must make drastic efforts and commitment towards developing its indigenous STI base.
He said without it, there would be no meaningful sustainable development.
Ikoh further said the theme of the dialogue would enable production of effective and efficient national strategy documents in using STI to support monetary and fiscal policies of the CBN among others.
Mr Ibiam Oguejiofor, National Coordinator of the Strategy Implementation Task Force for the Presidential Executive Order 5, said among other things, the dialogue was to sensitise Nigerians on the role of STI in nation building.
He said that STI cut across sectors of economic and national life as well as serve as the bedrock of national economic development and progress.
Oguejiofor listed the expected outcomes of the establishment and implementation of the technology and innovation centres to include improved interaction among scientists in Nigeria.
The coordinator said it would serve as motivation for more Nigerians to go into research and development work including youth and women, as well as the creation of better visibility for Nigerian researchers.
Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, Director-General of the National Biotechnology Development Agency(NABDA), told the News Agency of Nigeria, on the sidelines of the event that the technology hubs would promote technology utilization.
Mustapha said, ”establishing and implementing these hubs would also strengthen technology management information systems as well as facilitate commercialisation and global competitiveness.
“These hubs will act as a unifier for continuous discussion between government, industry, academia and civil societies for the enhancement of industry and business driven research, development and innovation.
We’ll sustain support for critical sectors’ privatization —Minister Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, has said that the Federal Government would continuously support the privatisation and commercialisation of critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
The minister stated this during the presentation of ‘Full Business Case(FBC)’ certificates for Public-Private-Partnership in Abuja on Monday.
According to him, government will continue to support critical sectors with great financial burden in order to bolster the socio-economic growth and development of the nation.
Mamora said that two projects to be concessioned were Planetarium and Broadband facilities with specialised theatre.
He said that both projects already had representations where the solar system galaxy and the universe can be projected.
The minister said, ”with satellite, intelligence information could be gathered on tackling some of the problems retarding the growth and progress of the country.
” Also speaking, the Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Mr Henry Ikoh, said the Federal Government was resolute in commercialising innovations.
Earlier, Dr Halilu Shaba, the Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA),said that Planetarium and Museum building were inaugurated in April 2018. Shaba stated that its sole objective was educational, with the provision of entertainment services to Nigeria about space science and technology.
He said that it also aimed at generating revenue for Nigeria.
The DG said after the projects become operational, they would contribute significantly to space knowledge and astronomy.
The Director-General, Infrastructure, Concession Regulatory Commission,(ICRC), Dr Joe Ohiani said that the two projects would create about 10,000 direct and indirect jobs.
He added that they would also enhance tourism, boost capacity and create great innovations in the country.
Ohiani said that the broadband project would generate about N28 billion and the project would equally create N20 billion.
He said that both projects would also attract foreign investors to the country.
Sen. Abdullahi Adamu, the All Progressives Congress (APC), National Chairman has urged party members to close ranks and work as a team to ensure victory in the forthcoming general elections.
Adamu made the call while speaking with newsmen after inaugurating an eight-member Abia Reconciliation Committee.
“We have to do some works and forget some of the prejudices and stand together.
”We don’t want anybody to come here after the elections and start crying and laying blames on us for our failures.
“I will not listen to that, this is the time to unite, this is the time to work for unity, if we do, God will be with us,” the APC national chairman said.
He said ahead of inaugurating the committee, comprehensive meetings were held between the party’s leaders in Abia. Adamu said that they were involved in negotiations and its National Working Committee (NWC), especially during its primaries and after it.
Adamu expressed optimism that with the inauguration of the committee, there would be peace in APC Abia. “We are not going to hold reconciliation meetings again.
We will now leave it to the leaders of the party in Abia to play their politics in the state.
“Abuja is not about Abia, go to Abia and play politics there, do the necessary, lobby and reconciliation there because all politics is local.
“Abuja is not Abia locality, Abuja is the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), we converged here from various states.
Let Abia go and work together,” he said.
Adamu however, added that the party would not be satisfied with just 25 per cent of votes cast at the general elections.
“All the national elections, House of Representatives, Senate, Governorship, likely the presidential election, we will not be satisfied with just the 25 per cent of votes cast.
“No half way about it, if we are to win, we must try to win every state,” Adamu stressed.
The Chairman of the committee, Mr Chris Adighije, in his remarks, said the committee would reconcile all aggrieved APC members in Abia. This, he said, was critical to enable the party build strength to face challenges from other political parties The APC National Chairman urged the members to quickly come together to work in unity.
“We are on our way back to Abia to play the local politics, reconcile all our members and ensure that we go straight for the low hanging fruits which would have lost if we don’t get together.
“And I know that by the grace of God and with the team, we are going to do the needful and ensure victory for our party,” he added.
Adighije said the party’s chances of winning APC in the coming elections were bright.
“If you look at my face very well you will know that I am an old war horse and I wouldn’t be standing here if I am not sure.
“So, we have great chance, we only have to do the needful to work together,” he said.
He added that the committee would do the needful to address every of the party’s challenges in Abia. The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Sen. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha, Deputy Chief Whip House of Representatives will serve as secretary of the committee.
Other members of the committee are Mr Henry Ikoh, Minister of State for Science, Technology and Innovation, Emeka Atuma, Martins Azubuike and Dr Emeka Wogu, former Minister of Labour and Productivity.
The APC Abia governorship candidate, Mr Ikechi Emenike is also a member of the committee, among others (www.