The Future, Greatness Of Nigeria Depends On Science, Technology and Innovation—Onu
BY CHIBUZOR EMEJOR
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, has said Nigeria’s future and her quest to join the rest of advanced countries depends solely on the country’s application to science, technology and innovation.
Onu who made this assertion on Monday in Abuja during the celebration of World Science Day, said it was clearly stated in the nation’s Constitution that Science, Technology and innovation should be deployed to develop the country.
According to him, “all through history no nation has ever become truly great without the application of science, technology and innovation.
“It is very important that our students and young people to start to appreciate this, so that when they grow up and eventually assume leadership roles, they will be able to apply science in the nation’s development.
“Our Constitution has already guaranteed that government will develop the nation through science and technology application.
“They will see science as an instrument for peace and prosperity of our nation. They will see science as a human right.”
As part of measures to sensitise students to embrace the study of science, the minister said he had visited some secondary schools in the country to stress the importance of science in nation building.
“Also, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) had taken our secondary school students to some of our agencies to feel the impact of the applications of science and technology outside the school environment.
“Some of the steps so far taken by this administration to ensure that science contributes to national development include the recognition that science has the capacity to drive the economy, and change its course from the current resource to knowledge based as encapsulated in the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan [NERGP] 2017-2020,” he explained.
“I will not end this address without mentioning the efforts of Federal Government in ensuring that science and technology is deployed to provide the needed foundation for economic growth, as contained in the National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria.
“This policy, which was approved by the Federal Executive Council, seeks to encourage local production of goods required by Nigerians, towards creating employment and conserving Foreign Exchange earnings. Through this approach, our currency, the Naira will compete favourably with other currencies.”
Earlier, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, had explained the World Science Day was an annual celebration that highlights the important role of science in the society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
According to Nabasu, it was celebrated to underline the importance and relevance of science in our daily lives aimed at ensuring that citizens are kept informed of developments in the science, technology and innovation sector.
The theme of 2018 World Science Day, “Science, a Human Right,” coincided with the celebration of the 70thanniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and of the recommendation on science and scientific researchers which indicates that everyone has a right to participate in and benefit from science for sustainable development.