Abuja — Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, yesterday bemoaned the country's low level of development years after independence and pushed for the deployment of science and technology to break the jinx of underdevelopment.
He insisted that Nigeria could become self-reliant if the government prioritises science and technology.Speaking during a lecture at the National Defense College in ABUJA, Onu said the challenge facing Nigeria was to initiate bold and visionary policies that would help move the economy in the right direction.
The economic diversification, he said, should be driven in such a way that when the demand for crude oil drops in the global market, the country could absorb the shock and avoid recession, which has always had a negative effect on the economy."
He believes science and technology would help redirect the country's development process and create new jobs and wealth that would guarantee a buoyant and dynamic economy capable of fighting and reducing poverty.
Onu disclosed that the ministry had worked hard to conduct research and innovation through its agencies, saying this can help achieve food safety and security, improve communication and movement of persons and goods from one part of the country to another.
He added that the country would be safe and secure through the use of nanotechnology, robotics, artificial intelligence and rocket space technology.While explaining the reasons the National Science, Technology and Innovation's Road map 2017-2030 (NSTIR-2030) were presented, Onu said it was designed to move the country away from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based one.
"Innovation driven economy predicated on the essential need of ensuring the deployment of science, technology and innovation are instrumental to driving Nigeria's economic diversification process, especially in the emerging post-crude oil global economy.
"The road map is set out in the short-term to help achieve the Nigerian Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (NERGP) 2017-2020, which stated clearly that science and technology will be effectively harnessed to drive national competitiveness, productivity and economic activities in all sectors," he added.