Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that for Nigeria to have a brighter future, it must deploy science and technology.
He made this known during a breakfast meeting with Nigerian entrepreneurs in Victoria Island, Lagos.
He said: “As leaders in the private sector, it is important to be reminded that in both ancient and modern times, no nation has ever become truly great without deploying science and technology in nation-building.
“For so long we have been dealing with manufacturers, but we need to utilise the risk bearers who will constitute the major off-takers of the products of scientific research and innovation activities by our scientists all over the country.
“Nigeria is our country. We can no longer continue to rely on others to develop our country for us. We have all that it takes to achieve this. I call on all Nigerian entrepreneurs and investors to look inward and expand their businesses by helping to transform research findings into products, goods and services.”
Onu added: “The Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) is willing, prepared and ready to give all the support that is needed. There is no doubt that if all of us can work together, be patriotic, determined and dedicated, Nigeria will one day, lead the world.”
On his part, Chairman of the occasion, Pascal Dozie, noted that Nigeria is still struggling with the first industrial revolution while the global economy is already in the fourth stage.
“The gap is massive, and the question is, what should we do? Do we keep doing what we are doing, or are new thinking and framework required? While I might be regarded as old school, my old intelligence and passion for a better Nigeria suggest that new thinking is needed, and it is urgent.
“With over 25 million Nigerians unemployed, over 80 million classified as extremely poor and major economic development variables heading south, the importance of new thinking and framework of collaboration particularly in the science, technology and innovation ecosystem cannot be overemphasised,” he said.
Meanwhile, Director General, National Board for Technology Incubation, Dr. Mohammed Jibrin, stressed that the policy thrust of the agency is not only to undertake research but also pursue commercialisation. According to him, “We have to take research and development to a higher level.”