The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the Federal Government will continue to support the development of key and groundbreaking scientific innovations through policies and ensuring harmony of research efforts from different Research Institutions.
The Minister made this known when he declared open the 19th National Council on Science, Technology and Innovation on Thursday in Abuja.
The theme of the council is “Investment in Research and Development: A Necessary Tool To Improving Nigerian Economy”.
Dr. Onu said that efforts are being made to review the current Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) policy to accommodate and meet the needs of the 21st century and proffer solutions to teeming challenges facing Nigeria today.
According to the Minister, Nigeria is determined to be a major global player in space technology, adding that Nigeria is the first sub-Saharan African country to launch and develop space technology.
The annual council which is the highest decision making body on science policies in Nigeria will help accelerate economic development and give the country a global competitiveness advantage.
Dr. Onu further said that research institutes and agencies under the Ministry will continue to develop innovations to help the agriculture industry. He added that farmers would be able to achieve more agricultural yield and reduce post-harvest losses.
He stressed on the need for the country to be self-reliant, patronise indigenous goods and services, and encourage export and achieve a favourable balance of trade. A good balance of trade he added, will improve the overall socio-economic fortunes of Nigerians.
On youth empowerment, Dr. Onu urged youths to embark on new business start-ups, because all large industries today started as SME’s.
Earlier in a goodwill message, the deputy chairman of the House committee on Science and Research Institutions, Hon. Jafaru Mohammed, said that more efforts would be put into scientific innovations and appreciated the synergy among the scientific ecosystem in Nigeria.
On behalf of the diplomatic corps, the Ambassador of Venezuela to Nigeria, His Excellency David Nieves Velásquez Caraballo, said that the development of STI in Nigeria is a positive development and pledged that his country will continue to work closely with Nigeria for mutual benefits in many areas including STI.