President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to bridge the gap in research and technology as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
He gave the charge on Tuesday at a meeting with the Board of NASENI at the State House.
Buhari asked the agency to play a more pivotal role in equipping the country during emergencies while encouraging research, upgrading local skills, fabrications and international collaborations that will provoke growth in science and technology.
He noted that NASENI was vital for the actualization of the government programmes such as the creation of 10 million jobs, Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) as well as the Post COVID-19 sustainability Plan.
The Nigerian leader said only the deliberate deployment of Engineering, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI), using technology domestication, reverse engineering of capital goods, and making them available in Nigeria can fast-track capacity building and poverty reduction.
“The countries that are at the forefront of economic recovery have only one thing in common: investment and sustained research and development work in the knowledge economy. COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the Technology and innovation gap between us and the developed World, which NASENI is strategically positioned to fill”, he added.