Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has said the Federal Government will allocate a minimum of 0.5 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for research and innovation.

He said the Muhammadu Buhari administration had, in the past three years, made improvements in the budgetary allocations to the Science and Technology sector.

Osinbajo explained that the government action is meant to unlock the potential of innovations for wealth creation and economic growth.

The Vice-President spoke yesterday in Abuja at the Technology and Innovation Expo 2021, with the theme: Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainability Amidst COVID-19 Challenges.

Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, expressed the government’s determination to provide an enabling environment for the sector.

He said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has placed tough questions of our national innovations and we are confidently determined to answer them through the commendable efforts of our researchers.

“As a government, we are determined to provide an enabling environment for the Science and Technology sector in order to unlock the lofty potential of innovations for wealth creation and economic growth.

“In the past three years, we have made considerable improvement in the budgetary allocations to the Ministry of Science and Technology. This has helped to increase research and innovation for achieving sustainable development.

“We are happy that this has been achieved in line with the decision taken at the African Union (AU) Executive Council in 2006 to establish a target for all member states, for one per cent of GDP investment in research and development in order to improve innovation, productivity and economic growth.

“We are aware that only a few African countries have met this task. As a result of the challenges of fiscal income sector of the economy, we will allocate a minimum of 0.5 per cent of our GDP to research and innovation as a way to fast-track meaningful development.”

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said the ministry had not rested since the outbreak of COVID-19.

He said: “It is important to mention that the ministry has not rested since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is working tirelessly to provide home-grown solutions to better manage or minimise the adverse effects of the pandemic on the healthcare system of the nation.

“This resulted in the constitution of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Herbal Remedies and Natural Compounds to authenticate claims of anti-COVID-19 products produced in the country by Scientists, Researchers and Traditional Medicine Practitioners.

“As I speak, the submissions made by the claimants are undergoing review, and some of them may even be on display at this expo.”

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