The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the annual Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Expo of the ministry has contributed significantly to the creation of many Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSMEs) businesses in Nigeria.
Onu made the remarks at the closing ceremony of the 2021 edition of the Science and Technology Expo themed; “Science, Technology and Innovation for Economic Recovery and Sustainability amidst Covid-19 challenges”, in Abuja on Friday.
The minister said the annual Expo will help Nigeria quickly achieve economic diversification and ensure that Nigeria becomes one of the leading global economies.
In his words, “The technologies that we develop in the country today will be the foundation for new start-ups that will grow into large scale businesses tomorrow”.
He further reiterated that the resilience and untapped potential of Nigeria’s teeming youth could be harnessed for socio-economic growth.
He said; “Nigeria is blessed to have a majority of our population as young people….we have our young people as one of the most intelligent in the world”
Dr. Onu hailed President Buhari for his insistence on at least 0.5% of the nation’s GDP to be invested in the development of STI (Science, Technology, and Innovation), adding that effective utilization of STI will accelerate national development.
Onu also hailed the President’s scholarship award to three secondary students who emerged winners at this year’s Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award Competition.
The scholarship is to study up to Ph.D. level, in any science-related discipline of their choice at any university in the country.
He urged Nigerian youths to be optimistic as the future of Nigeria belongs to them, he added that Nigerian youths should be equipped with all necessary skills and resources to enable them to achieve greatness.
Earlier the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Sunday Edet Akpan said the STI Expo was the right step in the right direction for Nigeria’s industrialization.
The Permanent Secretary assured Nigerians, that the Ministry will continue to develop policies that will support the growth of Science and Technology in the country.
In his goodwill message, The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, reiterated the need for Nigeria to invest at least 2% of its GDP in Scientific Research and Development, so as to achieve a knowledge and innovation-driven economy.
The Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the Expo will ensure that Nigeria takes its place among the comity of technologically advanced nations of the world.
The Minister of Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said that his Ministry will harness the potentials of the Expo to work towards economic diversification.