Lagos — Nigeria will follow China's transformation model by investing heavily in new technologies to accelerate development, Minister of Science and Technology Ogbonnaya Onu said Monday.
"China adopted technology to feed its billion population, create wealth and open their economy to the world," the minister told reporters in Lagos, Nigeria's economic hub.
He spoke at a media gathering to unveil an order signed by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Feb. 5 to promote the application of science and technology toward achieving the nation's development goals across all sectors.
The order is meant to promote patriotism as potent tool for a new social engineering of the country like that of China, Onu told reporters, noting that it would redirect the economy from being unsustainable, resource-based to being sustainable, knowledge- and innovation-driven.
Technology is a catalyst to economic growth and could solve societal problems, the minister said, adding that economies such as China have grown to become what they are today through investing in technology.
"Over 30 years ago, most Chinese companies were not in Nigeria as we have them now. It was after they looked inward to attain the level where they are now that they decided to export their skills to the rest of the world, especially Africa," Onu added.
Nigeria would add value by using science, technology and innovation to convert its abundant resources to product and services needed at home, the minister said.
Frank Jacobs, president of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), described the order as a laudable initiative that would promote patronage of made-in-Nigeria products.
Jacobs said manufacturers were hopeful of effective implementation of the order to achieve the desired results.