ABUJA – The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Abdu Balama, on Tuesday, urged members of the D-8 countries to identify modern and appropriate technologies that would enhance local production capacity and national development.
He made the call at the opening of the D-8 Technological Innovation and Exchange Network (D-8 TTEN) meeting in Abuja.
D-8, also known as Developing-8, is a group of developing countries namely Nigeria, Egypt, Malaysia, Iran, Turkey, Indonesia, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
Established through the Istanbul Declaration of Summit of Heads of State/Government on June 15, 1997.
The objectives of D-8 are to improve member states’ position in the global economy, diversify and create new opportunities in trade relations, enhance participation in decision-making at international level, and improve standards of living.
The science and technology minister then urged participants at the meeting to identify technologies, especially in the areas of energy,
food, agriculture, health delivery and infrastructure development where D-8 members could collaborate.
He said “the need to synergise, cooperate and exchange technology information among the D-8 member countries is what led to the formation of D-8 Technology Transfer and Exchange Network.
“The network is expected among other things, to generate opportunities for the introction of technology-based products and services into the global markets.
“We also hope to commercialise research results for sustainable growth and development of member states.’’
The minister added that the Federal Government had embarked on the formulation of new national policy on science, technology and innovation to boost benefits derived from science and technology.
He noted that “in realisation of the importance of science and technology, the Federal Government spent a great deal of effort in the formulation of new science, technology and innovation policy.
“Our borders and economy are open for genuine trade and investment and there is need for D-8 countries to explore this to build mutually-beneficial businesses and trade relationships.’’
Bulama said the Ministry of Science and Technology would continue to support the active participation of its members of staff and agencies in the activities and programmes of the D-8.
The Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mrs Winifred Oyo, in her welcome address, said that the goal of the D-8 TTEN was to improve and diversify trade relations among member countries.
Oyo, who is also the Chairperson, National Office for Technological Acquisition and promotion (NOTAP), said “the D-8 is an intergovernmental organisation meant for economic cooperation and to improve member countries’ position in global economy.
“The desire to share experiences and challenges in scientific and technological capabilities of each member country is the main aim of the network.
“Nigeria has an ample opportunity to benefit from the network, especially as it is now a technology consuming nation.’’
Oyo said the membership of the D-8 could facilitate Nigeria’s aspiration to become industrialised by 2020.
She said that by partnering with member countries, Nigeria could improve its position in the global economy, create opportunities in trade relations and enhance its participation in decision making at the international level.
The meeting, which was the second in the series, was attended by member states.
The last edition of the meeting was held in October 2013 in Tehran, where the D-8 TTEN Secretariat was inaugurated. (NAN)
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