As part of preparations for the inaugural edition of the Swiss Nigerian Innovation Forum, being organised by the Embassy of Switzerland in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, the Swiss Ambassador to Nigeria, Georg Steiner paid a courtesy call on the Honourable Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, H.E. Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu on 23 November 2021 at his office in Abuja.
He was accompanied on the visit by the Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy of Switzerland, Mr. Lukas Schifferle and the Embassy’s Senior Political and Economic Officer, Babatunde Ajala.
The Honorable Minister received the Swiss delegation in the company of the Minister of State for Science and Technology, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, and several supervising directors.
Ambassador Steiner expressed appreciation for the meeting, and for the hard work, as well as the focus and commitment demonstrated by both the ministry and the Embassy towards the convening of the inaugural edition of the Swiss-Nigerian Innovation Forum (SNIF) at the Swiss Residence on 30 November 2021.
The Ambassador viewed the Forum as another opportunity to open another chapter in the strong bilateral relations between Nigeria and Switzerland, with a view to deepening it in a mutually beneficial way. Ambassador Steiner characterized the forum as a kick-off event which will entail the exchange of ideas and knowledge between Nigeria and Switzerland.
He expressed the hope that the Forum will ultimately crystallize into mutually beneficial and concrete projects that will foster cooperation and strengthen the relationship between both countries in the fields of science, technology and innovation.
Thereafter, the Swiss Ambassador handed over a personal invitation to the Honourable Minister to attend the Forum, expressing the hope that the Minister will grace the event with his auspicious presence.
In his response, the Minister welcomed the delegation and expressed appreciation for the longstanding and cherished relationship between the Embassy of Switzerland and the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
He welcomed the proposal for the convening of the Swiss Nigerian Innovation Forum as an opportunity to strengthen the warm relationship between the Embassy and the Ministry, as well as the relationship between both countries.
He viewed the Forum as being in alignment with the objective of his Ministry to steer the Nigerian economy away from dependence on commodities to an economy that leverages on knowledge and innovation, with the objective of enhancing diversification, boosting productivity, increasing economic competitiveness and reducing poverty.
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