by Achadu Gabriel, Kaduna
Leadership of a body, ‘Arewa Youth Assembly,’ has called on members of the House of Representatives for the second reading for the establishment of the National Innovation Agency (Establishment Bill 2020), in view of its sensitivity and importance to national development.
According to the youths, the National Innovation Agency, if enacted, would coordinate innovation activities as well as administer funding to grow and support the innovation ecosystem and entrepreneurship in Nigeria.
This is contained in a statement issued and made available to our reporter in Kaduna by Mohammed Salihu Danlami, on behave of the youths.
Danlami, who is speaker for the Arewa Youth Assembly, observed that “This is what Nigeria lacks but so desperately needs at the moment, so that we can have a knowledge-based economy.”
The statement explained that the National Innovation Agency being proposed would play a leading role in the development of Nigeria’s innovation ecosystem by coordinating, networking, fostering, and partnering different organizations from various fields such as academia, technology, industry, finance and investment.
The statement further explained, “Its main focus will be on utilizing knowledge management to achieve innovation, which could be employed as the principal tool in improving quality of life and as a driving tool for an increasingly competitive economy. NiNNOVA will rely on academic and financial support mechanisms to drive and support innovation development.”
It stated that the agency would undertake a broad-based and systematic approach in facilitating innovation development in Nigeria, both in terms of making improvements and pioneering new initiatives, adding that it would focus on fostering strategic innovation and industry innovation, which will enhance national productivity, encourage economic restructuring and social development as well as promote national competitiveness.
“Commodity-based economy such as the one we currently operate does not get any country anywhere in terms of national development. It is noteworthy that South Korea, which developed an innovation-based economy and is not up to the size of a state in the Soviet Union, has about the economic size of the Soviet Union,” the Arewa Youth Assembly observed.
The Arewa Assembly then re-echoed another important note on the (proposed) bill, by one Chris Emeka Azubogu, who stated that, “The Bill is of national interest and importance as it will drive the process for diversification of the economy, as many countries, which have followed this line, have witnessed tremendous benefits and are among the most developed countries in the world.”
The statement noted that the proposed National Innovation Agency shall act as a catalyst for socio-economic transformation and national development, to facilitate the establishment and development of new technology-based enterprises, to facilitate knowledge transfer from universities to companies and to society; to build synergy between industry, academia and government.
It added that the agency would help to establish and nurture technology-based startup enterprises and assist existing companies become more innovative and entrepreneurial.
It said the agency would provide need-based science, technology and innovation management training to researchers, entrepreneurs and industry and would help commercialize research, manage innovations, promote intellectual property and commercialize technologies.
The leadership of Arewa Youth Assembly expressed its gratitude to the Honourable Speaker and Honourable members of the 9th Assembly for the successful 1st reading of the Bill to Establish a National Innovation Agency (Establishment Bill 2020) on the 2nd of July, 2020, as sponsored by Rep.