FG poised to dedicate 0.5 percent of GDP to research, innovation, minister says

By Favour Egwu
NOUN products at display during the Science Expo in Abuja

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has said the federal government is committed to dedicating 0.5 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to fuel research and innovation.

Nnaji revealed this at the opening ceremony of a 5-day Science and Technology Innovation Expo 2024, themed: “STI: Solution to National Economic Challenges,” in Abuja.

The event, which kicked off on Monday, March 11, 2024 at Eagles Square, Abuja, witnessed a large number of organisations from across the nation in attendance.

The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) was equally present, where it exhibited a number of goods and other technological advances made by Nigerians.

The university was represented by a delegation headed by the duo of Prof. Grace Jokthan, the Director of the Africa Centre of Excellence on Technology-Enhanced Learning (ACETEL) and Dr. Samuel Awolumate, Director, Directorate for Entrepreneurship and General Studies (DE&GS)

During his discussion with members of the press, Awolumate expressed the directorate's happiness to be participating in the expo this year, saying that the university, under the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olufemi Peters, has a passion for innovation and technology.


He said NOUN, being an ODL university, was already a proof of how important these things are to higher learning.

The director showed his pleasure with the lineup of products that some of the students had created as it demonstrated that they were doing more than simply attending classes.

On her part, the ACETEL director reaffirmed that the administration is pleased that certain students are solving problems. "It demonstrates that NOUN is producing graduates who are contributing to global and national development, not just graduates."

 A few of the items on display by the university were the reusable pads made by Saidatu Ahmed Sani from the North-west Incubation Centre in Katsina State, ACETEL MOB-AID by Mattew Omotoso, MONTEA by Timothy Manasseh from the North-east II Incubation Centre in Bogoro, Bauchi, and many more.