The Senate committee on Science and Technology led by its Chairman, Distinguished Senator Uche Ekwunife has commenced visitation to Technology Incubation Centres (TICs) in the South East and South South regions.
The visit which is in line with the oversight powers of the Senate committee is targeted at identifying the challenges of the Incubation Centres and ways of improvement.
At Enugu, the committee began their visit with a courtesy call to the Governor of Enugu State, Hon Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to inform him of their presence in the State and communicate their desire to see that the Enugu centre is better positioned to serve its purpose of establishment. From there, the Senate committee moved to the Technology Incubation Centre Enugu for oversight.
Speaking during the Enugu oversight visit, the Chairman of the committee, Senator Uche Ekwunife reiterated the importance of science and technology to national development.
She noted that advancement in science, technology, research and development is key to moving Nigeria from a high import dependent economy to an export oriented economy, and urged the Federal Government to show more interest in the sector by meeting its funding and capacity building needs.
From Enugu, the team moved to the Technology Incubation Centre Ebonyi State where they were received by the Manager of the Centre, Mrs Oluchi Nneka Ibiam.
Speaking at Ebonyi centre, Ekwunife stated that the essence of establishing these technology incubation centres is to drive support from the government to the private sector. She noted that without government support the private sector cannot thrive.
Speaking further, Senator Ekwunife reiterated her call for the Federal Government to increase their support for science and technology based innovations in order to develop the nation’s local manufacturing capacity which according to her will assist Nigeria in meeting its local manufacturing needs and increasing its foreign exchange earnings.
In their separate speeches, the Centre Managers for the Enugu and Ebonyi centres, Mrs Thelma Nwabueze and Mrs Oluchi Ibiam appreciated the Senate committee for the visit and highlighted the products, achievements and challenges of the centres.
While displaying some of their products to the committee, they prayed the Senate committee to look into the areas of funding, access roads and provision of project equipments for the centres, these according to them will further assist the centres in realizing their core mandates.
It is important to note that Technology Incubation Centres are centres designed to uniquely provide business development, infrastructure and commercialization support to new technologies; nurture and grow new and small businesses, products, innovations and entrepreneurs by supporting them through the early stages of development. These centres are coordinated by the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI).
Ekwunife led committee had on Tuesday visited the Port Harcourt and Owerri Technology Incubation Centres.
The Senate committee delegation includes, Senator Obinna Ogba (Ebonyi Central), Senator Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North), Sa’idu Ahmed Alkali (Gombe North).
The Director General of the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), Engr. Dr. Mohammed Jibrin was also present during the visits.
SA Media to Senator Uche Ekwunife