The minister of science and technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that more investment in science, technology and innovation is a sure way Nigeria and other African countries can harness their enormous human and material resources to grow their economies and reduce youth unemployment.
The minister said this at his investiture as patron of the upcoming sahel military games conferred on him by the Organisation For Military Sports in Africa (OSMA) in Abuja yesterday.
Onu said that African youths must be encouraged to study subjects bordering on science, technology, engineering and mathematics for their respective countries to achieve sustainable and meaningful development.
He noted that the Sahel military games, which will be held in Nigeria, would help integrate African armies and foster peace in the Sahel region.
“The Sahel sports is very important for the whole continent because it is important to use sports to integrate people in the Sahel region where we have so much turbulence. We have problems of insecurity in virtually all parts of the Sahel and I believe very strongly that using sports to integrate the military, we will work together to stamp out all forms of insecurity in our continent,” he said.
He called on African countries to pay more attention to science, technology and innovation, stressing that it will put them in a position to use that knowledge to convert the enormous natural resources to actual wealth which will make them become self-reliant.
Dr. Onu said further that for African countries to stem the tide of illegal migration through the Mediterranean Sea, they must be self-sufficient and indigenously develop technologies.
Earlier, the minister of state for science and technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, said the ministry has dedicated some of its research and development components for the production of sporting and other related items such as military combat boots for physical fitness and foot protection in rugged environments.
He further appealed to the organisation to patronise the products from indigenous research and development agencies, adding that they are of good quality and their patronage will encourage local production, wealth creation, save foreign exchange and boost the socio-economic situation.