President Muhammadu Buhari has tasked the National Research and Innovation Council, NRIC, to deepen scientific research in Nigeria, with the hope of producing Nigerian Nobel laureates in sciences.
Wole Soyinka is Nigeria’s only Nobel laureate. He won the world’s most prestigious prize in literature in 1986.
In his remarks at the first meeting of NRIC on Thursday, President Buhari said Nigeria’s vision of becoming one of the world’s 20 largest economies by 2020 could only be attained when science, technology and innovation are fully integrated into the nation’s national socio-economic development process.
Mr. Buhari expressed hope that the body, which was inaugurated on February, 18, 2014, would focus more on acquiring esteemed positions and prizes in world science, than merely producing scientific publications.
“I am aware that Nigeria must accord high priority to science and technology if it must take its rightful place among the leading economies in the modern world,” the president said.
“It is my fervent hope that our research and innovation output should be measured by number of intellectual property such as patents granted and not only by the number of articles published in scholarly journals.
“By this action, Nigeria will become a centre of discoveries, inventions and innovation in all fields of science and technology. Before long we should be in a position to produce Nobel Laureates in the sciences,” the president stated.
Mr. Buhari noted that the NRIC is designed to accelerate the growth of innovation-based entrepreneurship in the country and to create conditions for the commercialization of current and future research findings in our universities and research institutes.
The president said the government had structured the NRIC to provide for the establishment of a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) consisting of technocrats from the various fields to ensure a full implementation of resolutions of the council.
He expressed the government’s support for the NRIC and asked for collective effort by members of the body to ensure the actualization of its objectives.