Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has called for massive investment into scientific research for the good of all Nigerians.
The Minister said this on Monday in an address at the open ceremony of the 2021 Science and Innovation Expo held at the Eagle Square in Abuja.
TheFact Nigeria reports that this Expo, which had taken place annually over the past five years, seeks to significantly impact on Nigeria’s quest to achieve self-sufficiency and self reliance.
“I therefore, call on well meaning Nigerians to start investing heavily in Scientific Research for the good of our nation. This is the way to go.”, he said.
Dr. Onu said: “I will not fail to thank Mr. President for many efforts he made in promoting Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as the major instrument for National Development.
“It is instructive and remarkable that for thirty (30) years, the STI Policy for our dear nation could not be fully implemented because its lead organ, the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) did not meet even for a day. It was on January 7, 2016, that the NRIC met for the first time in 30 years with Mr. President, as Chairman.
“Also, it is important to mention that since we achieved political independence on October 1, 1960, in the several development plans to guide economic growth and development of our dear nation, it was only the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017 – 2020, under this administration, that for the first time correctly recognized STI as being at the center of all economic activities in the country.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) has continued to make progress in leading the way to move our economy from depending entirely on commodities to depend on knowledge that is innovation driven.
“Indeed, the event of today has shown that Nigeria has the capacity to attain greater achievements that can help accelerate economic growth and development.
“This way, we can create more jobs, create wealth, reduce poverty, strengthen the Naira, and stimulate growth in the economy. This is the challenge which this Expo seeks to confront in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is important to mention that the FMST has not rested since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, and is working tirelessly to provide home-grown solutions to better manage or minimize the adverse effects of the pandemic on the healthcare system of the nation.
“This resulted in the constitution of an Inter-Ministerial Committee on COVID-19 Herbal Remedies and Natural Compounds to authenticate claims of anti COVID-19 products produced in the country by Scientists, Researchers and Traditional Medicine Practitioners.
“As I speak, the submissions made by the claimants are undergoing review, and some of them may even be on display at this Expo.
“Furthermore, the Ministry has developed a strategy of Prevention, Tracking, Testing and Treatment (PT3) for short, medium and long term basis, in addition to the various Research and Development (R&D) products of some of our Research Institutes.
“This is to adequately respond to the pandemic and safeguard the health of our people.”