By Stanley Iwuoha
The Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, says the recently launched Methanol Fuel Technology policy has started to yield positive fruits as over 20 private organizations and state governments have shown interest in its implementation.
The Minister disclosed this when he declared open the 18th meeting of the National Council on Science, Technology and Innovation in Abuja at the weekend.
Dr. Onu said the dream of Nigeria to become a global socio-economic hub could only be achieved through the adoption and implementation of Science, Technology and Innovation policies.
Nigeria, he further said has the potentials to overtake many of the technological developed nations of the world, if more attention was paid to Science, Technology and Innovation.
On the 2021 budget, the Minister said that the Federal Ministry has been designed to enhance the capacity of Nigerian youth to embrace Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for entrepreneurship.
The Ministry, he added has also developed policies aimed at increasing the participation of youths in the development of STI in the country. Such policies, he added include the Executive Order 05, The Economic and Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2030), The National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and a host of other policies developed by the Ministry.
On the recent African Union’s (AU) resolution that African nations should appropriate at least 1% of their GDP to the development of STI, Dr. Onu said Nigeria has to key into the resolution in order to make meaningful socio-economic breakthrough.
He added that Nigeria should take the lead in Africa in the development of STI for sustainable socio-economic growth.
Dr. Onu further said the present time was auspicious for innovative strides and technological developments, especially with the outbreak of Covid-19 and its attendant disruptions to global economic activities.
On the Ministry’s bid to confront the Covid-19 pandemic, he said the Ministry came up with a strategy on Prevention, Tracking, Testing and Treatment (PT3) in the short, medium and long term basis.
In his own remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alh. Lai Mohammed said that cultural institutions in Nigeria would benefit immensely from the nascent revolution taking place in Science and Technology sector.
He called for patronage of indigenous Earth Construction technology which is indigenous, durable, cheaper, stronger and long lasting.
Earlier, the UNESCO Representative in Nigeria, Dr. Moma Enang said that Science, Technology and Innovation was a vital tool that can be used to build back economies of countries, especially after the set-back of the Covid-19 pandemic.
She advocated the development of gender sensitive policies on STI, so as to narrow the gender gap in the scientific community.