“Science, Technology & Innovation have created many SMEs in Nigeria”- Minister

Chioma Eyum Eche

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Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, says the annual Science, Technology and Innovation Expo of the Ministry has contributed to the creation of many micro and small scale businesses across Nigeria.

 

Dr. Onu made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the just concluded 2021 Edition of the Science and Technology Expo themed, “Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainability amidst Covid-19 challenges”, in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

 

The Minister said the annual Expo will help Nigeria achieve economic diversification and ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the leading global economies.

 

“The technologies that we develop in the country today will be the foundation for new start-ups that will grow into large scale businesses tomorrow,”  he stressed.

He further disclosed that the output of the past four editions of the Science Expo have led to the creation of many Micro and small scale enterprises in the country, which in the nearest future will grow into medium and large scale enterprises.

 

“We are determined to even work harder to ensure that the future of Nigeria becomes one of the leading economies in the world; we will not rest until this is achieved.

 

“Our efforts to diversify our economy can only be sustainable if we effectively develop Science, Technology and Innovation for nation building”  he added.

 

Dr. Onu reiterated that the resilience and untapped potential of Nigeria’s teeming youth could be harnessed for socio-economic growth, while also urging Nigerian youths to be optimistic as the future of Nigeria belongs to them:

 

“Nigerian youths should be equipped with all necessary skills and resources to enable them achieve greatness.

 

“Nigeria is blessed to have majority of our population as young people

 

“…We have our young people as one of the most intelligent in the world.”

 

The Minister commended the contribution of the Nigerian leader, President Muhammadu Buhari toward the development of Science, Technology and Innovation to create jobs and wealth for the Nigerian people.

 

He also hailed President Buhari for his insistence on at least 0.5% of the nation’s GDP to be invested in the development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), adding that effective utilization of STI will accelerate national development.

 

Dr. Onu praised President’s Buhari’s scholarship awards to three secondary school students, who emerged winners at this year’s “Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award Competition”. The awards would enable them to study up to PhD level in any science-related discipline of their choice at any University in the country.

Earlier, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Sunday Edet Akpan, said the STI EXPO was a right step in the right direction for Nigeria’s industrialization as he assured Nigerians that the Ministry will continue to develop policies that will support the growth of Science and Technology in the country.

 

In a goodwill message, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, reiterated the need for Nigeria to invest at least 2% of its GDP in Scientific Research and Development, so as to achieve a knowledge and innovation-driven economy.

 

Also speaking, the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the EXPO will ensure that Nigeria takes its place among the comity of technologically advanced nations of the world.

 

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said that his Ministry will harness the potentials of the EXPO to work towards economic diversification.

 

At the event, the Ministry awarded the top three innovators who came first, second and third at the just concluded Science Expo organized by the Federal Ministry of Science Technology with cash prizes of N1 million, N750, 000 & N500, 000 Naira respectively. 

 

The Awardees were selected through a committee that was set up to oversee the work of indigenous innovators and inventors at the 2021 Expo where they displayed their invention. The best outstanding innovations were selected, among many others.

 

Amaka E. Nliam

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