Minister advises Nigerians to be innovative to boost economy

The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, on Wednesday, advised Nigerians to be innovative in order to boost the nation’s economy.
Enelamah gave the advice in Nsukka at the First International Science Parks and Innovation Workshop.
It was organised by the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), in collaboration with Ideon Science Park (ISP), Sweden and LundaVision AB, Sweden.
The theme of the workshop is: “Science Parks and Innovation Ecosystem for National Development (SPIE4ND).’’
The minister, represented by Emeka Ifezuruike, a Senior Special Assistant, said that the measures put in place by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had encouraged innovation.
Enelamah said that the Federal Government had provided enabling environment for both local and international businesses to thrive.
“Under President Buhari’s watch, there has been an enabling environment for businesses to thrive that is why many investors, both local and international, are investing in the country.
“The Federal Government has provided incentives for their business to grow, because it knows the importance of small and medium enterprises.
“Government will continue to do its best to encourage innovation which will go a long way in diversifying the country’s economy,’’ the minister said.
He commended UNN for keying into the Federal Government’s agenda on innovation by organising the workshop. 
The minister said that what happened in the communication industry was an eloquent testimony that with innovation in other sectors of the economy, the country would experience a tremendous growth.
“The innovation in communication industry has provided over one million jobs via network providers, selling of phones and phone accessories.
“The Nigerian economy, as a result of innovation in the communication sector, has attracted over 25 billion dollars trade investment in Nigeria.
“If what happened in the communication sector can be replicated in all sectors of our economy, unemployment will be reduced and the economy will move to the next level,’’ Enelamah said.
In his remarks, Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice-Chancellor of UNN, said that the Science Parks and Innovation Workshop was another step to restore the dignity of man.
Ozumba said that the university would continue to sustain its leadership role in research and innovation aimed at contributing its quota to national technological development.
“UNN organised this workshop as a march to sustain academic excellence, research and innovation, which are inevitable in rapid technological development of any country.
“Science Parks have positive effects on universities as they attract collaboration from all over the world,’’ he said.
The Vice-Chancellor said that countries like China, Japan and Sweden had shifted from commodity-based economy to knowledge-driven economy as a result of application of science and innovation.
“UNN is leveraging on its collaboration with Ideon Science Park and LundaVision AB, Sweden, to improve its research, science and innovation.
“This workshop is a modest effort to domesticate what we have learnt from our Swedish collaborator, which will help in creating the needed culture of innovation in the university,’’ he said.

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