By ABDULLAHI RABIU, Kano
LAST Week, specifically 30th of August 2021 will go down in history as one of the days Kano will never put behind and allow it to pass into the oblivion of history without any Intelectual review of it’s impact on the lives of the people of state .
It was a Special Day that the Honourable Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr Ogbonaya Onu abandoned his tight schedules and paid an official visit to the state with a view to coming and notifying the state of his ministry’s intention to establish a “Technology and Innovative Centre for Global Competitiveness” in the state.
Although this was not the first visit of the Honourable Minister Onu to Kano, because it’s on record that he once visited the state when he served as the governor of Abia state during the reign of the late Emir of Alhaji Dr. Ado Bayero.
Dr. Obgonaya Onu was given a befitting civic reception by the government and people of Kano state. However, this time around the visit was just for a complete working day and was too short a time to attract similar reception and same magnitude as in the past.
The Minister’s convoy moved straight to the Government House where he met and discussed with his Excellency Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and informed him about the significance of the visit and how Kano is bound to benefit from the planned project billed to be sited in the state and other Six geopolitical zones across the Country.
Ogbonaya drew the attention of the governor to take advantage of the project and invest wisely. The Minister was quoted as saying, “I am happy to visit the Ancient City of Kano. Kano state is a great state full of abundant natural resources, both human and material. The state has the richest Nigerian, who incidentally is the richest person on the African continent and one of the richest in the world.
“Kano is the largest ‘Centre of Commerce’ and industrial activities in Northern Nigeria. It has lots of fertile land. Nigerians are happy with the massive production of Maize, Rice, Millet, Cowpeas and Sorghum in the state to meet our food security.
“Also, Kano State is a major producer of Crops and Livestock for industrial use in manufacturing, such as Groundnuts, Soya Beans, Gum Arabic, Cotton, Garlic, Hides and Skin.
“Let me recall that both during the Colonial period and also immediately after our independence, Groundnuts produced in this great state constituted one of the major sources of revenue for the Country. I am particularly happy with the investment in a gender sensitive and an all inclusive education in the state, that emphasizes Science and Research.
“The presence of Federal, State and Private Universities, several Polytechnics and Monotechnics, Technical Colleges, Research Centers and Institutes clearly show the great zeal with which the people of this great state have for the pursuit of knowledge.
My visit today is to appreciate the efforts made in the state by all critical stakeholders within the Science, Technology and innovation (STI) ecosystem.This includes therefore Academia/Research institutions, Organized Private Sector (OPS) and government
In order to work very closely with both the government and people of the state in using the power of STI to provide the requisite framework and appropriate platform for harnessing the abundant resources of the state, in this regard, our desire is to forge a strategic alliance with Kano state in a manner that provides effective coordination of all stakeholders, such that the tertiary academic and research institutions could engage the industries and businesses in the development of abundant Agricultural, Minerals and human resources of the state. “
“As a matter of urgency, we are considering ways of improving the efficiency of the regulatory establishments so as to strengthen their conformity assessment tool-box, for ensuring standardization and adoption of universally acceptable metreology.
“This is required to issue credible certification and accreditation of raw materials, products and services in the state. We are working very hard to ensure that the OPS and R&D/Academic institutions form strategic alliances that emphasize more on industry and services demand-driven R&D programmes, projects and activities.
“In this way, research findings in our laboratories can easily be converted into products and services needed in our markets and shops. Intellectual property can then be protected through patents, with tremendous financial reward for the scientists and institutions involved.
“Our aim is to improve Nigeria’s global competitiveness ranking by promoting substantial application of STI in creating knowledge-driven economic development.”
The Minister said In this regard said, “the FMSTI is working hard to achieve scientific breakthroughs and innovation for sustainable industrialization, employment generation, value-addition, poverty eradication and wealth creation. With the support of Mr. President, the FMSTI, in the past Six years made giant strides with the development”
While responding to the submission of the Minister the Kano state governor Dr Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said “I promise to give adequate cooperation to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to achieve it’s target objectives in transformational agenda of making Nigeria great through Research, Technology and Innovation.”
According to him, the former Governor of Abia state is not a new person to the state because the state had received him on several occasions even while he was serving as the governor of the old Abia state.
“The choice of Kano by your Ministry to establish the “Technology and Innovative Centre for Global Competitiveness” in the six geopolitical zones is apt considering the key role played by states like Kano in the act of research and innovation.
“Kano state has a long history of partaking in commercial activities before the advent of the Colonialists adventurist mission to Africa.
“Kano even before now has to her credit the ‘Groundnut Pyramids’, several manufacturing industries among others which helped in boosting the economic prosperity of the nation.”
Speaking earlier the Minister of Science, Technology and innovation Dr Ogbonaya Onu had informed the governor that he was in the state to bring a goodwill message to the government and people of Kano state over the resolve of the ministry to establish a Technology and Innovation Center in Kano being the commercial hub of Northern Nigeria and West Africa in general.
He said his Ministry is introducing one of the first approaches to intelligent driven economy based on Research and Technology.
He also said Countries like China is beating it’s chest today for having bade farewell to poverty why not Nigeria, a nation blessed with enough human and material resources.
Onu said gone are the days when Nigeria will continue to be left behind in the field of competitive World of Science and Technology .
He said the Ministry is determined to sensitise and synergize with all the Universities such as BUK, KUST, YUMSUK among others in the zone in order to lay a very good foundation for a stable economy based on Science Technology and Innovations.
The minister further assured that the ministry has been painstakingly trying to encourage SMEs for the past six years but the result is not all that encouraging but with high commitment on the part of our researchers, Nigeria will be able to simulate all the problems confronting her and wax stronger.
The Minister’s train later proceeded to Bayero University Kano where he addressed the Management of Bayero University Kano (BUK), Kano University of Science (KUST,) Maitama Sule University (YUMSUK). On the viability of establishing “Technology and Innovative Centre for Global Competitiveness” in the state.
During the Meeting, the Vice Chancellor of Kano University of Science and Technology, Wudil, Professor Shehu Alhaji Musa and his Counterpart from Yusuf Maitama Sule University Professor Mukhtar Atiku Kurawa said the initiative is a welcome development which must be fully supported by all and sundry.
Also, two former National Presidents of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Professor Abdullahi Sule-Kano, now serving as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development) in BUK and Dr. Nasir Isa Fagge, applauded the initiative but quickly added that government must commit enough resources in order to achieve the desired objectives.
The Minister also took the good will message to the Kano Emirate Council and informed the Emir of Kano Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero through the Madakin Kano who warmly received him at the palace on behalf of the Emir who was unavoidably absent.
Onu told the Monachs of his readiness to establish a research Technology, innovative Centre in Kano and the whole of Six Geo political zones in the Country.
” We are bringing this initiative in order to encourage and intelligent driven economic development based on the dictates of Science and Innovations.”
The Emirate assured the Ministry of its support for the attendment of the desired objectives. And pray that the Ministry accomplished it’s mission successfully