ABUJA, Aug. 17 (Xinhua) -- Nigeria's governing council has approved a new and revolutionary policy guideline for the design and execution of programs and projects with science, engineering and technology components, the ministry of science and technology said on Thursday.
Launching the roadmap at a press conference in the country's capital of Abuja, the ministry said the document will drive the technology sector as a platform for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
With the new guideline, Nigeria can produce what it needs and export the surplus to other parts of the world, noted Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science and technology.
Onu said this will partly enable Nigeria to conserve its foreign reserves and strengthen foreign trade with multiplier benefits to the economy.
Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, aims to achieve self-reliance by promoting a radical shift in emphasis toward entrenching science, technology, and innovation as an invaluable component of virtually all strata of its national development process.
The 13-year science and technology roadmap, classified into short-term, medium-term and long-term implementation plans, "will help create a new nation that will guarantee the happiness and prosperity of Nigerians," said Onu.
"Its implementation will strengthen and deepen the role of science, technology, and innovation in the future development goals of Nigeria," he told the press conference.
According to the official, the document was designed to ensure the West African nation promotes local content, encourage indigenous technology capacity, drastically reduce capital flight, strengthen local manpower development, enhance global competitiveness and restore national pride.
Apart from helping Nigeria to bridge existing technology gaps, the new national roadmap is expected to help fast-track the process that will enable Nigeria to become self-reliant in indigenous technology capacity, thereby stimulating a greater sense of national pride rooted in enduring self-reliance, the minister added.
The Nigerian government is working to move the economy away from being dependent on mere commodities, toward the direction of diversification such that when there is a drop in the global market demand for crude oil, its mainstay, the nation can absorb the shock and avoid experiencing the sort of recession which adversely affected its economy as witnessed in recent times.
Development of the nation's raw materials is a key feature in the new roadmap, as it is expected to address the challenge of developing and implementing effective policies and strategies that will stimulate the economic diversification and promote industrialization in an irreversible manner.