The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has stated that Nigeria’s economic challenges could be addressed if the people of the country would embrace science and technology.
“In a face of global economic crisis in the price of crude oil, we should diversify our mono economy by embracing knowledge and emphasise technology as an important instrument for national development,” Onu said while delivering the 2015 convocation lecture, yesterday, at the University of Lagos.
“Positioning Nigeria as the Technology Hub of Africa,” he said that embracing technology as a nation will arm us with the necessary tool to address our economic crisis. He maintained that if Nigeria must get out of its present economic challenges, we must diversify our economy through science and technology offer. According to him, science and technology will reduce poverty, protect our environment, create jobs, check insecurity, recreate the middle class and restore honour and accountability in the conduct of government business.
The Minister lamented that Nigeria has never paid sufficient attention to science and technology, noting that pupils and students run away from the study of Mathematics and science in our primary and secondary schools. “Many parents discourage their children from pursuing a career in science, engineering and technology,” he said.
“Very little attention is paid to the innovation going on in the informal sector of the economy, as the infrastructure needed to harness the creativity of our people in the informal sector is lacking.
“Even the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology which should coordinate science and technology activities in the country was in the past treated as if the nation did not know what to do with it.
“No nation that has made sustainable progress has been able to do so without emphasising science and technology. Such emphasis sustained over a long period of time has always helped quicken the pace of economic growth and development,” Onu said.