Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, says the present administration was putting measures in place towards moving the economy to prosperity.
Onu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the sidelines of the ministry’s Investment Forum in New York that one of such measures was the emphasis on science and technology-based economy.
“Our economy, since independence, has relied on commodities; our economy has been resource-based and the problem with that is that we have relied so much on commodities.
“Yet as a nation, we can’t determine the price of these commodities. So what it means is if there is a sharp drop with the price of commodity, then your economy will suffer adversely.
“And this is what has been creating problems for us in the country.
“Whenever there is price drop in the price of commodities, then immediately, we feel the adverse effect, we enter into a recession; and we believe that this should not have happened.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is determined that the nation must move away from having an economy that is resource-based to having an economy that is knowledge-based and innovation driven
“And this is where Science and Technology can play and is playing very important role,” he said.
According to him, the Federal Government has already prepared the ground for the economy to now take off.
He said “We have done a number of things to prepare the grounds for Nigeria to take-off from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy.
“The Science, Technology and Innovation Policy of the Federal Government came into existence in 1986.
“But for 30 years, the lead organ – the National Research and Innovation Council, which the President is Chairman, that lead organ never met for once in 30 years.
“It took the Presidency of Muhammadu Buhari January of last year for this Council to meet for the first time in 30 years.
“And last year we met three times and this year we already met once. But it is not the Council meeting that is really our goal.
“But just to tell you that if you have a body and there is no head can the body move, it can’t move; you need the head to control even body movement and other things.
“Today, we are working to institutionalize this council and we are also working to make sure that there is a National Research and Innovation Fund.”
He said no nation fund Science, Technology, Research and Innovation through budgetary provision alone but through extra-budgetary means, to meet the at least one per cent GDP-recommendation by AU.
According to him, however, the highest ratio to GDP that Nigeria had spent so far is 0.33 per cent.