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It is Time for Nigeria to Take Her Place Among Global Great Nations- Nnaji

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It is Time for Nigeria to Take Her Place Among Global Great Nations- Nnaji

By: Michael Mike

The Minister of Innovation Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji has said the time has come for Nigeria to take her place among great nations on the globe.

He said: “In today’s rapidly evolving world, the pace of technological advancements is not just fast; it is exponential. Nations that have recognized and harnessed the power of research, development, and innovation are leading the charge towards economic prosperity, societal well-being, and sustainable development. It is time for Nigeria to take its rightful place among these nations.”

The Minister said this on Monday in Abuja during the opening of the National Research, Development and Innovation Coordination Summit.

He said for Nigeria “to achieve this, we must first acknowledge that our RDI ecosystem requires robust coordination, one that is resilient, inclusive, and forward-thinking. Our goal is to create a system where academia, industry, government, and the community not only interact but thrive together, fostering an environment ripe for groundbreaking innovations.”

He added that: “Our vision for Nigeria is to become a hub for African innovation, contributing significantly to the global knowledge economy. This can be achieved by implementing a three-pronged approach:

“Strengthening Institutional Frameworks:
It is imperative that we build and strengthen the institutional frameworks necessary for effective RDI coordination. This includes policy reforms that incentivize research and development, protect intellectual properties, and facilitate the commercialization of research outcomes.

“Fostering Public-Private Partnerships: The collaboration between the public sector, private industry, and academic institutions is crucial. By fostering partnerships that leverage the strengths of each sector, we can accelerate the translation of research into market-ready solutions that address our most pressing challenges.

“Investing in Human Capital: At the heart of any successful RDI ecosystem are the people. Investing in education and training to build a skilled workforce ready to navigate and lead in the Fourth Industrial Revolution is non-negotiable. We must nurture our young talents and provide them with the platforms to excel and innovate.”

The Minister said with the theme of the gathering being: “Advancing Nigeria’s Global Competitiveness, Through a Resilient National RDI Coordination,’’ it is not just a statement of intent; it is a clarion call to action.

He added that: “The journey to enhancing Nigeria’s global competitiveness through resilient RDI coordination is a collective endeavor.

“We want to bring out all the innovations, the researches we have in the shelf and develop them and that is the fulcrum of my involvement as a minister.”

Chief Strategy Officer of West and Central African Research and Education Network ( WACREN), Mr Omo Oaiya, said one of the things they do was the Pan-African Initiative to Strengthen Open Science in Africa.

He said: “As part of that, we are also working with countries in different events like this to drive cooperation and collaboration so that we can reap the benefits of such an endeavor.

“So RIKE SD is our local facilitator here. But between both of us, we have been able to create a new impetus in the Nigerian RDI coordination space.

“The main goal of this activity is to bring the different RDI actors together to look at a way of co-creating a future that we can build on.

“We are trying to align this with the presidential priorities that have been announced and the Renewed Hope Agenda.”

Oaiya also said the essence of the summit was to bring international connections to support activity within Nigeria to drive RDI forward.

Global Impact lead, Research for Impact Knowledge Economy and Sustainable Development( RIKE SD), Dr Mustapha Popoola, on his part said part of what they are trying to do today was what we call research, development, innovation coordination.

He explained that “RIKE SD is a Nigerian non-for-profit organisation that has a Pan-African scope.

“We are the first research as a service organisation in Nigeria who is looking at taking research, development, innovation, outcomes and output from Nigeria to other African countries.

“For the first time we know that for us to have results based on the directive of Mr. President, we should actually institutionalise the use of research and development outcomes in ministry agencies and departments.

“it is important for us to get coordinated and know what we can offer. We are using an approach, we call it pentagonal nexus whereby the government is going to be working alongside with the industry, academia, and at the same time we are focusing on the community that are going to use those outcomes of research at community level.”

President-elect Nigerian Academy of Science, Prof. Abubakar Sambo, said the summit is expected to look into the eight areas of the Renewed Hope Agenda.
It will bring out how research and development, and in particular science, technology and innovation research can be used to significantly impact those eight areas of Mr. President.

“It is to bring up what are needed to be undertaken to boost development of the country through programs that involve research, development and innovation, and also through policy making.

“It is very important for the MDAs to incorporate in their yearly programs, aspects that will be boosted through the outputs of research, development and innovation activities”, Sani said.

Also speaking, Chairman Tech India Ltd, Dr. Shabihul Hassan,, said that the whole concept of research, development and innovation is collaboration.

“We have been connecting, collaborating with intellectuals, with members of the public and private sector to see how we can foster growth in the agri-sector, in the health sector, in the power sector, in the infrastructure sector.

“The key is teamwork. This is teamwork within the country, outside the country, collaborating nationally, internationally, and collaborating between the public and private sectors.

“So the private sector sets the way, it sets the standard. The public sector competes. The public sector also becomes competent, equally competent. So it’s collaborative work.

“The purpose of conferences like this is to bring people together, especially intellectuals, people with knowledge, different backgrounds, different countries. And that is the key to development,” he said.

Highlights of the conference is the call by all stakeholders thar there is urgent need for the creation of National Research, Development and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem in Nigeria.

It is Time for Nigeria to Take Her Place Among Global Great Nations- Nnaji

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Why desperados must be denied from dabbling into serious leadership positions…. El-Rufai

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Why desperados must be denied from dabbling into serious leadership positions…. El-Rufai

By: Bodunrin Kayode

Former Governor of Kaduna State Nasir El Rufai has said that desperate people looking for political appointments should never be allowed to get it.

He said that real leaders are not desperate to get positions at all costs adding that if one is too desperate for a position, its a sign that such a fellow would be self-seeking instead of in support of the general cause of the people.

Speaking further on leadership the former Governor said that “in life the best way to correct this deficit of good leadership which our dear country is suffering from, is by choosing those who never lobbied or asked for a particular position at all costs”

Rufai made these assertions in maiduguri the Borno State capital recently while describing the residents as lucky for having a leader like Zulum with a focus on where he wants to take the state to.

He said that Professor Babagana Zulum was a real leader who never lobbied for the position that was entrusted on him and has proved himself worthy because each time he (Rufai) comes to town he finds new developments amidst choking insurgency which is supposed to be an excuse for non performance.

Rufai who gave a lecture titled “leadership and Public Policy: Navigating challenges and Lessons” during a capacity building workshop on enhancing skills of government officials in policy implementation and productive human resource management in Borno commended Zulum for his giant strides in spite of daunting challenges confronting him.

“Nigeria has been a country with lots of untapped potentials within the last 200 years. What we lack is the ability to choose the right leaders to do the job by taking the country to the next level.

” We have only one problem in Nigeria and that is good leadership i repeat. We will not make progress until we are ready to correct this leadership deficit issue staring us in the face.

” I commend the new look of the state capital maiduguri because its obvious you have a leader who knows where he is going to. The people of Borno are obviously resilient people making progress even in the realm of insurgency.

” if we must make progress in development in this country, we must provide leadership that would take care of the least of the society and not just the five percent who are privileged.”

On development of the country, he advised civil servants and political leaders to stop taking their kids abroad for education when quality education is right here at their door steps.

“if you are a council chair and your son is not attending the local school, you should ask yourself why because it is wrong. Stop taking your kids abroad and fix the public schools with good leaders and to do this you need effective policies. That is the only way one can enhance development.

Also speaking during the special lecture, the Chair civil service commission Dr Bulama Mali Gubio stressed that public policy is the dictionary in the implementation of programs of government.

“Policies are formulated by the state executive council backed by laws. When you divert from policy, the entire phenomenon will crumble. It is a fixated phenomenon not subject to changes just like that.

” Some civil servants fail to recognize the policy of retirement even after serving for 35 years. They cut corners and adjust the files to suit their whims and caprices.

” To stop some of these wrongs, policies must be explained to the the public by the implementors so that the public will understood accordingly.” said Gubio.

Over 250 officers benefited from the five days training for top civil servants in the state which included all the political leaders in the state.

Head of service barrister Mallam Fannami said that the five days of talk shop also included all the Commissioners and permanent Secretaries in Borno state.

The secretary to the state government, Mallam Bukar Tijani who represented Governor Babagana Zulum called on participants to ensure that the knowledge gained will reflect in their productivity as it concerns the management of the service.

Why desperados must be denied from dabbling into serious leadership positions…. El-Rufai

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Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

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Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

By: Michael Mike

The President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr Omar Touray has said that the Gulf of Guinea has continued to witness a downward trend in piracy and armed robbery attacks over the year.

He noted that this was achieved through the efforts of the Inter-regional Coordination Centre, ICC, insisting that its achievements in maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea is quite commendable.

Touray made this known at the 4th Annual Meeting of the Heads of Institution (HOI) of the ICC, at the ECOWAS Commission Headquarters in Abuja, on Thursday.

ICC was created in September 2014 by ECOWAS, the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS) and the Gulf of Guinea Commission (GGC) with the mission of serving as the Coordination Centre on maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea following the 2013 Yaoundé Summit of ECOWAS, ECCAS and GGC Heads of State and Government.

Touray in his address on Thursday, said: “Since the Political Declaration of our Heads of State, substantial progress has been made in our maritime community.

”This included the adoption of National Maritime Strategies and the deployment of critical maritime infrastructure that has improved maritime situational awareness.

“With regards to our MoU, some progress has been achieved by the governing body on inter-institutional coordination.

”The Coordination Centre receives funding, and its annual Work Plan and Budget are approved, including the operations of Maritime Operational Centres.”

Touray added that the importance ICC for global maritime security and safety cannot be wished away, noting that it attracted the interest of many development partners.

He listed them to include the G77++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea, the European Union, the German Federal Government and the Chinese Government for their different support and assistance.

He said: “Their assistance has contributed to our success in establishing the ECOWAS Regional Maritime Security Centre (CRESMAO) in Abidjan, with three Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres (MMCC) in Cotonou (Zone E), in Accra (Zone F), and in Praia (Zone G).

“Similarly, the ECCAS Maritime Security Architecture established a Regional Centre for Maritime Security in Central Africa (CRESMAC) in Pointe Noire, as well as Multinational Maritime Coordination Centres in Douala (Zone D) and in Luanda (Zone A).

“The establishment of maritime information sharing networks between ECOWAS and ECCAS have improved information sharing and situational awareness.”

Touray while noting that the Gulf of Guinea has continued to witness a downward trend in piracy and armed robbery attacks, added that: “According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), actual and attempted piracy and sea robbery incidents saw a downturn trend from 31 in 2015, 18 in 2021 to 15 in 2022.

“Incidences of piracy and armed robbery further declined to 6 attacks in the first quarter of 2024 in the Gulf of Guinea. This is thanks to our institutional actions and collective responses.”

Touray, however, stated that in spite of such laudable progress, the ICC had serious challenges, which included non-recruitment of key staff, irregular funding, and breakdown of essential services.

He said that there was still a need for regular review of the progress and challenges on the level of implementation of the Declaration, stressing that it was important to take concrete steps to address the challenges.

“The Code of Conduct on the Prevention and Suppression of Acts of Piracy, Armed Robbery Against Ships and Illicit Maritime Activities in West and Central Africa was supposed to be turned into a legally binding Agreement three years after its adoption in Yaoundé in 2013.

“Thus far, we have not achieved this after the 10th Year Anniversary of the Yaoundé process. It is therefore important that we critically appraise our institutional responses on the Code of Conduct,” he said.

Touray urged the ICC governing body, which comprises the Presidents of the Commissions of ECOWAS and ECCAS, and the Executive Secretary of the GGC, to review a new EU project, ‘Safe Seas’ for the region and the Yaoundé Architecture Regional Information Sharing (YARIS) tool.

He also called on member states to streamline development corporations and partnerships to ensure that ICC provided the necessary oversight to guide the Coordination Centre.

Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Gulf of Guinea Commission, Jose Abeso, said the region was still facing the challenges of maritime insecurity, stressing that the objective was to eliminate all forms of criminality in the domain.

He said that the law on criminal activities in the maritime sector in the Gulf of Guinea should be harmonized to act as effective detriments against committing such crimes.

“Our maritime domain is the next destination for the sustainable economic development of our countries.

”Our governments cannot or should not leave the running of institutions meant to patrol this area, to ensure that security and safety of activities is not left to third parties,” Abeso said.

Participants at the event included the President of the Commission of the Economic Community of Central African States (ECCAS), Gilberto Verissimo.

Others were the representative of the UN Office for West Africa and Sahel (UNOWAS) and that of the UN Regional Office for Central Africa (UNOCA).

Piracy, Armed Robbery in Gulf of Guinea Has Reduced- Touray

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FG Tasks Stakeholders to Bring up Strategies to Address Climate Change

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FG Tasks Stakeholders to Bring up Strategies to Address Climate Change

By: Michael Mike

The Federal Government has called on stakeholders in the nation’s environment sector to come up with adequate strategies to address hazards posed by climate change in the country.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Mahmud Kambari this call at meeting of the technical committee on the review and update of National Erosion and Flood Control Policy held in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the benefit of having the policy reviewed and updated for the nation is quite immense, he said it would assist in the reduction of loss and damages due to erosion and flooding.

He said: “The capacity of Government organs to respond to these concerns would be enhanced, I want to assure you that the Ministry reposes great confidence in this pool of experts to give the nation superlative results, it is therefore my pleasure to declare this Technical Committee meeting open and wish you fruitful deliberations.”

He revealed that: “The Federal Ministry of Environment in its bid to address the twin issues of erosion and flood developed the National Erosion and Flood Control Policy (NEFCOP) in 2005. The document was, approved by the Federal Executive Council and launched by President Olusegun Obasanjo.”

The Director Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department, Federal Ministry of Environment. Mr Etigbue Dilichukwu said the revisiting and mainstreaming relevant policies into Nigeria’s national adaptation plan is of utmost importance.

Dilichukwu noted that the potential benefits of having a comprehensive and up-to-date policy in this area are enormous, not only in reducing loss and damages but also enhancing the country’s institutional framework and capacity to effectively respond to environmental concerns.

“On behalf of the Ministry, we extend our gratitude to our Partners and Collaborators for their unwavering support in tackling environmental challenges, with your continued collaboration as we strive to drive the implementation of a robust NEFCOP that will effectively address current and future challenges related to erosion and flooding.”

He however called for an open exchange of ideas and perspectives to work towards a stronger and more environmental resilient Nigeria.

The National Project Coordinator ACreSAL, Mr Abdulhamid Umar said the project is working to permanently end the issues of flooding in Nigeria.
“Issues surrounding flood control and coastal challenges in this country are very, central to reasons why the world bank hasn’t found it necessary, to intervene by making very handsome amount delegated to the implementation of this project,” he said.
He further said that the Agencies of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project will support the implementation of all the policies that would be reached at the technical session.

Umar said the government must ensure compliance and penalties for people who illegally destroyed structures and infrastructures that are supposed to help in controlling flood hazards.

The National Erosion and Flood Control Policy and its associated documents (National Erosion and Flood Control Action Plan and the Technical Guidelines) was developed by the Ministry of Environment, approved and adopted by both FEC and NEC in 2005. It would address the widespread hazards of erosion and flood which had led to devastating loss of lives, properties, productive agricultural lands, pollution of water resources and sedimentation of rivers.

FG Tasks Stakeholders to Bring up Strategies to Address Climate Change

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