The African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Acting President, Professor Azikiwe Peter Onwualu FAS, chaired the session on Executive Order No.5, at the recently concluded Science, Technology & Innovation EXPO 2023, organized by the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation held at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The Executive Order No.5, is officially the ‘Presidential Executive Order for Planning and Execution of Projects, Promotion of Nigerian Content in Contracts and Science, Engineering and Technology’, was issued and signed by the immediate past President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari on February 2, 2018.
The Executive Order among other things, aims to give preference to Nigerians and Nigerian firms, in the public procurement process. By implication, this preference is expected to significantly enhance the capacity of Nigerians and Nigerian firms in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), both in the public and private sectors.
In his remarks, Prof. Onwualu used the fast-growing ICT sector, to demonstrate the need for strategic implementation approaches, if the objectives of the executive order are to be met.
He highlighted the need for the elevation of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to a foreign policy issue, which will require an STI and digital economy related Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government such as the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (FMSTI), Federal Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy (FMCDE), the National Office for Technology Acquisition & Promotion (NOTAP), Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) and National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA), to be involved in the bilateral negotiations that involve foreign technology leading countries. The Government of Nigeria can mandate the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see to this.
That way, bilateral and multilateral relations and agreements that involves Nigeria, are managed in a way that provides opportunities and preference for Nigerians and Nigerian firms.
The AUST President was represented at the event by Dr. Chukwuemeka Uwanaka, Acting Head, Department of Business Administration, AUST.
Also in attendance were, Chief Henry Ikoh, Hon. Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (FMSTI); Mrs. Monilola Udoh, Permanent Secretary FMSTI; Heads of Departments and Agencies; Engr. Ibiam Oguejiofor, Head, Executive Order No.5 Implementation Committee; among others.