L-R (front row): Rector, Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, Prof. Abiodun Falodun; Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Science and Technology, Birgitta Okodugha; Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki; Chairman, Edo State Science, Technology and Innovation Committee, Prof. Kessington Obahiagbon, and Edo State Commissioner for Communication and Orientation, Barr. Andrew Emwanta, after the inauguration of the committee at the Government House in Benin City.
The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, inaugurated Prof. Kessington Obahiagbon as the chairman of the Edo State Science, Technology and Innovation Committee, charged with the responsibility of developing a strategy that will make the state a hub for science, technology and innovation in the country.
Obaseki, while inaugurating the committee at the Government House, Benin City, said that the move was part of the government’s efforts to drive growth in various sectors of the state leveraging technology.
According to him, “As you are all aware, today’s world is about technology and any state or government that fails to take advantage of scientific development and information will be left in the dark. The COVID-19 era has shown that technology is important for any state that wishes to survive the dislocations brought by the pandemic.
“We are lucky, blessed, and fortunate to be affiliated with experts and leaders in the area of proliferating science and technology. We felt these people should be put together as a group to help us articulate, very clearly, the direction we should be going in terms of building a new scientific and technological society.”
Obaseki listed some of the terms of reference for the committee to include helping the state draft a policy on science, technology and innovation as stipulated in the National Policy of Science, Technology and innovation.
He further stated, “The Committee should also assist the state in developing a strategy to improve the awareness of science, technology and innovation at the grassroots.
“They should assist in developing a strategy that will make Edo State the hub of science, technology and innovation within and outside the country. If we become a tech hub, we can now proliferate technology across Nigeria. Also, the committee should help in developing a strategy for the deployment of science, technology and innovation through public-private partnership collaborations.”
The governor continued: “They should develop a strategic policy that will coordinate research bodies that will engage with industries in healthcare, agriculture, natural science and the environment.
“The committee will also help us coordinate our administration’s focus, which is in the area of healthcare, agriculture, oil and gas, natural resources and renewable energy.
“They will organise symposia and conferences that will bring together stakeholders, scientists, captains of Industries, academics as well as the entire science, technology and innovation ecosystem to create greater research impact to promote knowledge sharing and solve problems that will lead to commercialization of various products in our state and region,” he added.
Responding, Prof. Obahiagbon thanked Obaseki for the privilege given to the committee to serve the State, adding, “I want to assure you that the committee would do its best to put the state on a global map in terms of science, technology and innovation.”