The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele has disclosed that Science and Technology Innovation is a vista that would trigger the development of Nigeria’s economy if there is massive investment in it.
He made this known recently while delivering a lecture titled ‘Financing Science, Technology (STI) for the development of Agro-Allied Industries in Nigeria.
The lecture was delivered to the participants of Senior Executive Course 39 at the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) Kuru, Plateau state. He was represented by the Deputy Governor in charge of Corporate Services, Alhaji Suleiman Baru
According to Emefiele, development worldwide is largely driven by the ability to develop, distribute and exploit intelligence to achieve competitive edge, and to create wealth and improve the welfare of citizenry, adding that the challenges of science and technology in Nigeria include access to finance, cost of borrowing and absence of alternative known traditional sources for funding.
He said, “Records show that the budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Science and Technology for 2015, 2016 and 2017 as a per cent of total was a dismal 0.66%, 0.87% and 0.93% of total budgetary provision respectively. This is far too low to achieve the drive towards harnessing STI to develop agro-allied industries as well as other sectors.”
He added that CBN had embarked on some intervention schemes which include, Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NISRAL), the Agricultural Credit Guarantee Scheme (ACGS), the Commercial Agricultural Credit Scheme(CACS), the Ancor Borrower Programme (ABP) and Youth Entrepreneurship Development Program (YEDP) among others.
According to him, if Nigeria is to achieve its goal of food sufficiency and a diversified economy, more attention must be paid to implementing financing for agro-allied industries by the government.