By Princess-Ekwi Ajide, Abuja
May 4 (Newshour.com.ng) – The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, has signed a memorandum of understanding, MoU, with Across Atlantic Development, AAD, United Kingdom to develop and establish a Science Park, and Museum at Sheda Science and Technology Complex, SHESTCO, in Abuja.
Establishment of Science and Technology parks in the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria has been in the offing since 2006 but focus was shifted to the establishment of a model science and technology park at Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), Abuja, which already has 79.5 hectares of land for the project.
The partnership is hinged on the private-public partnership (PPP) initiative, but AAD will provide the required funds for the development of the SHESTCO Science and Technology Park.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Adeleke Mamora, while signing on behalf of the government, said the decision to establish the model science and technology park at Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), was reached after conducting a nationwide survey to identify the science, engineering, technology and innovation (SETI) landscape of the country.
The Minister opined that to achieve the goal of creating more jobs for the teeming youths through the science park then, implementation must follow the signing of the MoU.
He assured, that the ministry is already partnering with institutions and development partners both locally and internationally to assist in the implementation of the Science and Technology Park.
On his part, the Minister of State, Science Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh, described STI as a key element of the micro-small and medium-scale enterprises strategy and action.
According to him, the Science and Technology Park would be replicated by state governments, universities, the private sector and other organisations interested in establishing science and technology parks.
The Chief Executive Officer of AAD, Dr. David Apollos, revealed that out of the 90 percent of the multi-million-dollar project fund already obtained , European Union provided over 70 percent of the funds.
He noted that all hands must be on deck in the implementation processes of the science park as a that will move the country to greater heights through STI.
The Director General of SHESTCO, Professor Paul Onyenekwe, noted that the complex has provided a strong science base for the takeoff of the park with its supporting infrastructure.