Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has urged Nigerians to have confidence in the ability of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to transform Nigeria.
Onu spoke to the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York on the sidelines of an Investment Forum organised by the ministry.
According to Onu, Nigeria’s future is bright.
“No matter the challenges and the problems that we have in Nigeria, Nigeria has a bright future because we have intelligent people and even Americans know that Nigerians are very intelligent.
“We heard that the drone which is being used to kill terrorists in Afghanistan was invented by a Nigerian.
“So how can a nation, blessed with so many intelligent people not have a bright future?
“So whatever the problems, just be confident and believe in this administration as it is determined to change Nigeria,” he said.
The minister said the Federal Government was working assiduously to take the country away from recession to prosperity through its Economic Growth and Recovery Plan.
Onu, who was the Second Republic governor of Abia, explained that the plan had Science and Technology as its base, adding that this had never happened before.
“We have recognised that we would not move one foot in the right direction without Science and Technology and as Minister of Science and Technology, I am determined to help the President to transform our economy from resource-based to knowledge-based, innovation-driven economy,” he said.
He blamed the recession on the failure of the country to diversify its economy since independence, noting that countries like South Korea that diversified their economy were not in recession.
“Now if you diversify your economy through agriculture and you don’t pay attention to Science and Technology, you will still go back to the same problem.
“There was a time Nigeria had enough rice to feed her citizens and exported rice to other countries.
“Don’t forget that there was a time we were the number one exporter of palm oil to the world, but today, we are importing all these items.
“So it’s because that diversification was not sustainable. You must diversify in a sustainable manner, and to make it sustainable, tt must be based all on Science and Technology so that you remain competitive.
“If you are not competitive, after sometimes, your level of production will decline,” he added.
NAN reports that the forum was attended by many Nigerians from across the U.S., who advised the home government to carry them along in the scheme of things.