IDB VP, Nigerian minister discuss collaboration in science & technology, food security

Jeddah (IINA) � Vice President of the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Sayed Aqa and Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu discussed potential collaboration in the fields of science and technology, innovation and food security, at the IDB headquarters in Jeddah on Tuesday.

IDB is scaling up in the area of science and technology, said Aqa. IDB President Dr. Bandar Hajjar has recently appointed Hayat Sindi as an advisor on Science and Technology due to the importance of the sector. Nigeria has a lot of potentials, and we want our member countries to make their mark in science and technology, he added.

Aqa stressed the need for more focus on science, technology, research and development in order to reduce brain drain and dependency in IDB member states. He said that IDB is open to collaboration at both regional and sub-regional levels, pointing out that if Nigeria gets it right, other countries will benefit.

The IDB vice president assured the Nigerian delegation that when it comes to science and technology, they have an ally in the IDB Group.

He further stated that IDB has several programs that could be of interest to Nigeria, such as the Lives and Livelihoods Fund that provides concessionary financing, and the Reverse Linkage (RL) modality � a technical cooperation mechanism which helps member states and Muslim communities in non-member states to exchange their expertise, knowledge, technology and resources to develop capacities and devise solutions for their autonomous development.

For his part, Dr. Onu said Nigeria is working hard in the area of science and technology through the 17 agencies of the Ministry of Science and Technology by promoting research and development, so that the country can export its products rather than rely on import.

Food security is a top priority for the Nigerian government. When you talk about modern agriculture, you are talking about science and technology. If Nigeria is supported, a lot of countries will benefit, he added.

The Nigerian minister called on IDB Group to work with his country in getting investors, and help mobilize the private sector in order to improve the products developed locally for the benefit of Nigeria and IDB member countries.

Source: International Islamic News Agency