Nigeria has a weak national innovation system, according to the third National Business Innovation Survey 2020 undertaken by the National Centre for Technology Management. The survey, which was undertaken to measure the state of innovation in Nigeria’s manufacturing and service sectors, showed that the success rate of innovation was generally lower than innovative efforts in both sectors.
The Assistant Director, Research, NACETEM, Dr Abiodun Egbetokun, at a workshop on Thursday, disclosed that the report showed that of the 70 per cent of firms that made efforts towards introducing innovation in the manufacturing sector, 66 per cent was successful. Similarly in the service sector, about 59 per cent of firms successfully introduced an innovation, out of about 64 per cent that made efforts. Egbetokun noted that a contributing factor to the country’s weak NIS was low government support for innovation.
“Across manufacturing and services, fewer than 10 per cent of firms claimed to have received any form of financial support from government, including tax credits, grants and loans,” he said. He added that the incidence of collaboration between firms and knowledge institutions was also very low, noting that firms would rather innovate alone or collaborate with their customers and suppliers.
Egbetokun said, “This is also related to weak NIS where key elements such as the universities, research institutes and the private sector do not interact to develop innovative goods and services or operational processes.” The agency stated that some actions that would help in de-risking innovation implementation among firms in the industrial sector are relaxing bureaucratic procedures, giving tax breaks, innovation grants and establishing shared facilities.
The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, NACETEM, Prof. Okechukwu Ukwuoma, noted that the ultimate aim of the survey was to use evidence in the NBIS to influence government policy in driving innovation and competitiveness in the business sector. He elaborated that Nigeria, as a developing country, needed policies to address the specific issues that had hindered the implementation of innovation in firms.