The Minister of Science of Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has described the Federal Government’s executive order on the planning and execution of projects, programmes and contracts with science, engineering and technology components as the panacea for economic diversification and capital flight reduction.
He stated this at a consultative meeting with directors-general of parastatals under the ministry in Abuja, pointing out that the order recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari would reposition science and technology as a major driver of the nation’s economic diversification process.
Onu said the executive order also underscored the president’s commitment to utilize science and technology as a key instrument for realising the National Economic Recovery and Growth Plan 2017-2020.
“It shows the resolve of the present administration to use science, technology and innovation as the vehicle that will drive Nigeria to a new dawn. This will help diversify the nation’s economy such that more jobs are created, poverty reduced, illiteracy eliminated with a remarkable improved standard of living for all citizens,” he said.
He described the move as a very important step in Nigeria’s onward march towards developing the necessary local capacity needed to look inwards in search for solutions to its numerous problems.
He added: “Indeed, it is an important step toward moving Nigeria away from being a mere consumer country to an important producer nation. The order, when implemented, will help our beloved country reduce capital flight; enhance local capacity; strengthen local manpower development; encourage indigenous technology capacity; enhance national self-reliance and restore national pride. It will make it possible for Nigerians to go to other parts of the world and compete for jobs.”
The minister explained that the important duty of implementing the order through a Presidential Monitoring and Evaluation Council would be driven by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology with the president as chairman while the secretariat would domicile in the ministry.
Earlier, the permanent secretary, Dr Amina Shamaki, urged researchers in the ministry to double their effort in the quest to record more breakthroughs in science, technology and innovations in order to embolden the minister to continue in the good work of popularizing the work of the STI sector.
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