The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has disclosed that Nigeria has never paid sufficient attention to Science and Technology, which he said is one of the major factors that hindered the nation’s development.
He said this yesterday at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) 2015 Convocation lecture tagged, “Positioning Nigeria as the Technology Hub of Africa” held at the institution’s main auditorium.
The guest lecturer noted that there are many technological gaps which the nation have allowed to exist for a very long time.
According to him, Nigeria has never paid sufficient attention to Science and Technology, noting that pupils and students run away from the study of Mathematics and Science in primary and secondary schools.
“Many parents discourage their children from pursuing a career in Science, Engineering and Technology. Very limited work is done in research and development in the industry, universities and research institutes.
“Indeed, most of the industries depend on the research work done in their home countries. Very little attention is paid to the innovation going on in order to harness the creativity of our people in the informal sector”, Onu stated.
The minister stressed that Nigeria must embrace knowledge and emphasise technology as an important instrument for national development, saying it would arm the nation with the necessary tool to address economic challenges.
“As I speak, we must seek for alternative ways, which science and technology offer, to diversify our economy, reduce poverty, protect our environment, defeat illiteracy, create jobs, recreate the middle class, check insecurity and restore honour and accountability in the conduct of government business.
“History has shown that no nation that has made sustainable progress has been able to do so without emphasising science and technology. Such emphasis sustained over a long period of time has always helped to quicken the pace of economic growth and development”, he added.
Dr. Ogbonnaya maintained that “It is our intention to initially build a Science and Technology museum in order to show our rich past in technology and also explain how technological ideas are conceived, nurtured and developed as well as acquaint the people with perceptible ideas of how science and technology can be utilised to advance the frontiers of human progress”.
The minister who was part of the institution alumni therefore promised that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration through the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology will work speedily to close all technology gaps in the country.
“In the near future, the Federal Ministry of Science of technology, as a way to encourage local development of technology, will come out with practical steps to appeal to Nigerians to patronise made in Nigeria good”, he stated.
Part of the dignitaries present were former head of State, Earnest Shonekan, General Ladipo Diya, White Cap chiefs amongst others.