The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged the Committee of Vice-chancellors of Nigerian universities to implement the 60/40 ratio policy in favour of science and engineering courses, so as to stimulate innovation and economic growth for the nation.
Dr. Onu made the call when he received the Secretary-General, Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, Prof. Yakubu A. Ochefu on Wednesday in Abuja.
A statement by the Ministry, said the Minister offered to assist universities in protecting their intellectual properties through patents, adding that inventors and innovators maybe discouraged if their intellectual outputs are not protected.
“Intellectual property must be protected because intellectual theft discourages innovation”, he stated.
He assured that the Ministry, in collaboration with universities, will continue to lead the way in ensuring that the Nigerian economy is transformed from resources to a knowledge and innovation-driven one.
While saying universities are critical in the journey of Nigeria’s future, he canvassed the need for Africa to embrace Technology so as to cope with the increase in its population.
He emphasized the need for Nigeria to embrace the new technology in view of its rising population, adding that In the next 30 years, Nigeria may be the third most populous nation in the world.
Earlier, Prof. Ochefu said the Committee will work closely with government MDA’s to proffer solutions to local and international challenges.
He explained that the Committee has come up with an innovation to help checkmate plagiarism and intellectual theft in the Universities.
Prof. Ochefu said the Committee of Vice-Chancellors was established in 1962 as a platform to share ideas and drive developmental processes.
Since its establishment, he added, the Committee has grown and has 174 Federal, State and Private Universities in Nigeria today.