Science and innovation underpin the economies of both Nigeria and the UK. Encouraging work between the two countries therefore produces benefits for both.
To promote international collaboration the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office jointly fund the UK Science and Innovation Network based in 31 countries around the world.
For an introductory brief which covers the local Science and Innovation landscape, UK priorities and successes in Nigeria, read the UK Science and Innovation Network Country Snapshot.
Science and Innovation Country background
Evidence of Science and innovation being at the heart of the Nigerian government’s development plan for fostering prosperity and socio-economic growth is the formulated Nigerian Vision 20:2020 to resolve in a practical way the long-term disconnect between economic planning and science and technology. Research and knowledge is increasingly developed and transferred through international collaboration which provides opportunities to work with the best in the world, exchange students and researchers, and gain access to large scale international facilities; leading to mutual benefits for the UK and Nigeria.
Until recently being superseded by South Africa, Nigeria was the largest economy in Africa. It has since been strategizing and working with international partners in order to remain one of the leading economies on the continent. In its effort to enhance the pace of socio-economic development of the country, the Federal Government increased budgetary allocations to the Education and Science and Technology (S&T) sectors in relative terms, recognising the role of these two key sectors in sustainable development. Despite this, the major focus in Nigeria remains on Defence, Health and Agriculture given the security challenges and the need for diversification from it oil based economy. These areas receive higher budget allocations but are still underfunded. Total budget allocations can be found in copies of the federal budget, but the proportion of these which are allocated to research is not defined - it is consequently difficult to ascertain how much money is even hypothetically spent on research. Nigeria reviewed its S&T Policy in 2012 and put more of a focus on Innovation. The 2012 Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy was designed in tandem with the objectives and pillars of the Nigerian Vision 20:2020.
Science and innovation are at the heart of government development plan for fostering prosperity and socioeconomic growth. Evidence of this is the Nigerian Vision 20:2020 formulated to resolve practically the long term disconnect between economic planning and science and technology in the nation. Research and knowledge is increasingly developed and transferred through international collaboration which provides opportunities to work with the best in the world, exchange students and researchers, and gain access to large scale international facilities; leading to mutual benefits for the UK and Nigeria.
Gross expenditure on research and development (GERD) in Nigeria is hard to establish, but estimates place it at between 0.1 and 0.5 per cent of GDP. Although the National Policy on Science and Technology stipulates that the Federal Government is to fund science and technology development programmes up to a level of 5 per cent of its annual budget, while individual Nigerian States are supposed to contribute by way of sponsored research projects, this has not yet been achieved. Nigeria established a National Research and Innovation Fund (NRIF) counting on a minimum of 1% of GDP and at least 5% strategically sourced from Government Allocations, Public and Private Partnership, International R&D Funds, and Venture Capital for implementation and achievement of the 2012 STI policy.
Examples of offshoots and relatively successful STI applications are the Tractor pool for mechanized farmers - PrOpCom (Promoting Pro-Poor Opportunities in Commodity and Service Markets) an innovative programme funded by the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID); Telephone messaging for peasant farmers like ‘Hello Tractor’; and Growth Enhancement Scheme and ICT Innovation hubs such as Co-Creation Hub.
UK Science and Innovation-S&I in Nigeria
The UK supports S&I in Nigeria with the establishment of a West Africa Science and Innovation Network, previously based in Abuja but now in Lagos recognising the greater opportunity for stakeholder engagement in south-western states of the nation.
We work closely with other UK partners to strengthen UK’s research footprint, promote evidence based policy making and develop high quality and sustainable UK/Nigeria science and innovation partnerships that focus on UK and Nigerian priorities.
Science and Innovation Network
British Deputy High Commission, 11 Walter Carrington Crescent, Victoria Island, Lagos, Nigeria