Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has embarked on a tour of the South Eastern Zone of the country. The Minister was on tour of the zone to flag-off, inspect and unveil projects developed by the ministry.
While in the zone, the Minister paid a courtesy visit to the Executive Governor of Imo state His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha in Government House Owerri Imo State.
In his briefing, the Minister informed the Governor that he had embarked on a tour of the South- East zone to inspect projects developed by the ministry as well as flag- off the waste to wealth pilot project domiciled in Umuahia, Abia state.
According to the Minister, one of the 17 agencies under the purview of the ministry the National Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST) has been carrying out research and innovation in leather works. Moreso that plans are under way to establish leather institutions across the six geo- political zones in the country with the southeast zone institute to be establish in okputo, Imo state.
Dr Onu stated that the institute in Imo state will help the youths acquire entrepreneurial skills to start small and medium scale enterprises, as well as develop skills transfer, which will be beneficial to others.
In his response the executive governor of Imo state, His Excellency Owelle Rochas Okorocha eulogised the minister on the transformation drive he is carrying out in the science and technology sector in Nigeria.
The governor called on Nigerians to embrace science and technology as it has become a lifeline for all sectors to key into for our national economic development. He further advised the minister to set up a science and technology department that is constitutionally recognised by the National Assembly, which will have a life span of 20 years stretch that will not be affected by any democratic process or political party interference.
He further stated that through the developmental drive in the sector, Nigerians would see and enjoy the beauty of science and technology, which is key to sustainable economic development plan of the current administration.
The Minister also inspected the Azumpta Science Centre Chemistry laboratory in Orodo, Mbaitoli Local Government Area, and Imo State, an ongoing project of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in collaboration with the Vatican Rome.
The project he said is built with a view to encourage our youths in the community and the state to develop interest in science related subjects and mathematics in order to boost economic development in the country.
Dr Onu expressed delight on the level of work on -going at the project site and encouraged the engineers to ensure that the project is completed in few months time in order for him to come back for the commissioning.
In a related development, the Minister unveiled the National Science, Technology and Innovation Road Map (NSTIR) 2017- 2030 to staff of the ministry in the South East zone at the Technology Incubation Centre (TIC) Naze, Owerri Imo State.
In an interactive session with the staff of the ministry the Minister, informed the staff that the Integrated Road Map is a unique piece formulated to redirect the energy of our nation.
He highlighted the importance of the Road Map to staff in order for them to understand the vision, goals and timelines given for work schedules in the ministry.
The integrated Road Map he said when incorporated into the system will serve as a catalyst to Nigeria’s economic growth and develop competiveness in raw materials endowed in Nigeria, which in turn will provide jobs, create wealth and reduce poverty drastically.
The Minister also said that the aim of the formulation of this important document was to encourage our youths develop interest in mathematics and science subjects as well as reduce our level of over dependence on imported and foreign goods and services in Nigeria.
Dr Onu stated that the Road Map is designed in such a way that it will span a period of short- term, medium- term and long –term with a view to attaining an effective implementation of projects in Nigeria.
The Minister further disclosed that, the Road Map targets the mobilization of Nigeria’s intellectual resources for the growth and diversification of the economy, provision of incentives for all stakeholders, to embrace and engage in science and technology innovation in order to improve science structures intensify and develop skills, deploy and commercialize technologies and improve science literacy engagement processes in Nigeria. (FMST/FMIC)