The minister of science and technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said strategic partnership with the media on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) development is key to moving Nigeria from resource to knowledge -based economy.
The minister stated this when a team from LEADERSHIP Media Group Limited led by the vice chairman, Chief Mike Okpere, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja yesterday.
A statement issued by the information unit of the ministry quoted Onu as saying the ministry had taken it upon itself to move the economy away from depending on commodities to a knowledge and innovation driven economy.
“We are a very blessed nation, rich with abundant natural resources, the sixth largest exporter of crude oil, yet whenever there is a sharp drop in the price of commodities in the international market, it adversely affects the economy,” the minister said.
He said the country’s enormous natural resources if properly harnessed, could add value to the economy and be transformed into finished products for export.
This, he said, would help expand the economy through local production. He noted that wealth would not just be created for individuals, but for the country, adding that it is the surest way out of poverty.
Onu reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment of moving 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in the next 10 years.
He further said the government had put in place policies that would make the industrialization process irreversible, as the country has attained certain levels of industrialization.
“The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is saying that if we bring in STI, then the industrialization process will be irreversible, and we can add value to what we have” he said.
Onu added that ministry has many revolutionary innovative policies, highlighting Executive Order No. 5 as it places STI at the centre of all economic activities.
He urged young Nigerians to look inwards so that the image of the country can be protected as well as attract foreign investment.
He commended the LEADERSHIP Group for its contributions to nation building and assured the company that the ministry was ready to partner it for the development of the nation.
Earlier, Mr. Okpere told the minister that the purpose of their visit was leverage on the existing partnership with the ministry and examine the possibility of publishing on a weekly basis, the activities of the ministry in the LEADERSHIP Newspapers.