Abuja – Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology, has said Nigeria is too rich for her citizens to be wallowing in current abject poverty.
Speaking at the closing ceremony of the Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 at the weekend in Abuja, Onu argued that through the deployment of science, technology and innovation, poverty, illiteracy, joblessness and under-development plaguing the nation would be overcome.
He contended that science, technology and innovation hold the key to Nigeria’s greatness, adding that the future belongs to countries that pay more attention to the development of science and technology.
According to him, “Nigeria is too rich for Nigerians to be poor. Nigerians are too resourceful to be without technological knowledge.
“The task before us is to use science and technology to fight poverty, illiteracy, joblessness and under-development.
“We have the creative ingenuity of our ancestors who had made significant contributions to human civilisation through their mastery of indigenous technology.
“When encouraged, there is no obstacle Nigerians cannot surmount in the bid to place Nigeria on the world map of achievement and acclaim.”
He reiterated the unwavering commitment of the present administration to move Nigeria away from being a resource-based country to one that is knowledge-based, driven by innovation.
Explaining the achievements of the ministry in the last two years, he said: “In 2015, there were only six patents for research findings in the country.
“Barely a year later in 2016, the number increased to 16. By the end of 2017, it again rose significantly to 50, showing a phenomenal appreciation of the role of innovation in nation building for the benefit of our people.
“I am happy to inform you that within a short period of January and February in 2018, a total of 20 patents have been processed through the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP).
“This is clear evidence that Nigeria is marching towards a new dawn where research and innovation will stimulate growth in the economy and enhance our competitiveness in the global arena.”
In his remarks, Yakubu Dogara, Speaker of the House of Representatives, challenged the stakeholders in the science and technology sector to rescue the nation’s economy from the present hardship.
According to Dogara, no nation has ever become great without the deployment of science and technology, adding that Nigeria needs to harness the potential in science, technology and innovation to unlock the frontiers of her future greatness.
Highpoint of the ceremony was the awards given to institutions, agencies, schools and individuals who distinguished themselves in science, technology and innovation.