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Supporters of Increased Funding for Science and Technology

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The National Assembly has advocated more funding of the science, technology and innovation sector to achieve development in an era where global attention was shifting to knowledge economy and value addition.

The joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology stated this at the 2024 budget defence session of the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology on Thursday.

Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Sen. Aminu Iya Abbas, lamented the slim size of the Ministry’s budget and said priority must be given to improve the current status of funding for the sector.

He said: “The 10th National Assembly is determined to legislate on all matters that will ensure the nation to achieve its STI‘s policies. Therefore, priority must be given to improve the current status of funding for the sectors in addition to exploring alternative means of funding.

„As such, as the joint Committee is advocating for adequate funding. The current budgeting style of the Ministry of science and technology and all its parastatals must reviewed

The budget of the ministry is characterised by the repetition of some projects as ongoing without completion period in sight.

„As you all know, discoveries are continuously being made in the field of science because it is ironic to stick to the same budget line for more than a decade and expect miracle to happen. We need to review and look. Henceforth prepare your budget by scale of preference (not envelope) based on available resources.“

Also speaking, the Deputy (Acting) Chairman, Hon. Jonathan Ajiroghene said Nigeria was lagging far behind in meeting the 2007 Africa Heads of State Agreement to commit 1% of GDP to STI (Science, Technology and Innovation).

Ajiroghene lauded the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Uche Nnaji Geoffrey for the improved capital allocation in 2024, although it was not spread across the agencies.

„Our collaboration is not merely about approving budgets; it is about charting a course for a future where innovation propels us towards sustained economic growth and global competitiveness,“ he said.

While presenting the Ministry‘s budget proposals before the joint Committee, Nnaji said the ministry was allocated N6.2 billion for capital expenditure; N1billion for personnel cost and N726.4 million for overhead cost for the 2024 financial year.

The Minister said the budget was targeted at lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty, however noting that allocation was not made to the implementation of the presidential executive order five on science and innovation.

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