THE Federal Government, on Wednesday, stated that Nigeria could only develop, modernise her economy and remain competitive, if it embraced both scientific and technological knowledge, hence, the reason the nation must sustain the new direction of President Muhammadu Buhari led government.
It noted that the acquisitions of knowledge and its deployment has enabled many nations attaine very high standard of living, while the neglect of same has adversely affected both the living conditions of the people and the influence of such nations.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made this known, while delivering a lecture titled: “Role of Science and Technology in National Development” to participating students of the senior course 39/2016 of the Armed Forces Command and Staff College, Jaji in Kaduna, Kaduna State.
He pointed out that his ministry has the wherewithal that would enable the nation’s security apparatus to build its capacity, improve intelligence, productivity and effectively secure the nation.
According to him, “Nigeria can make the difference, if we sustain the new direction which President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is carefully planning for Nigeria to follow.”
In a statement issued and signed by the Deputy Director (DD), Press of the ministry, Mr Taye Akinyemi, a copy of which was made available to Tribune Online in Abuja, quoted the minister as saying the ministry would help sharpen this new focus and strengthen the achievement of the goals which this new direction seeks to accomplish.
Dr Onu recalled the peak of insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country, when unknown flags were flown in local government headquarters in some states and the armed forces needed weapons to fight and defeat the insurgents.
“Even with cash at hand, we could not buy weapons. If we had invested in science and technology and establish our own defence industry, we would not have been confronted with that level of embarrassment.
“It is also very important for us never to forget that hardly can any nation give to another its best weapons and military equipment. Whatever any nation can sell to us, it must be clear in our minds that such nations have ways they can render such weapon ineffective in case of conflicts involving us that are against their national interest.
“We must learn from the mistakes that our ancestors made in the past. When some nations utilised the science and technology of those days in building up their national capabilities, our ancestors did not. The future of Nigeria today lies in science and technology,” he stated emphatically.
The minister, therefore, called on Nigerians to rise up and use science, engineering, technology and innovation to efficiently exploit the enormous natural resources Almighty God has endowed us with.
He noted that his ministry, working closely with the Ministry of Defence, could do a lot in helping the nation meeting many of her defence needs, saying the nation’s armed forces, noted for their gallantry and patriotism, should be ready to use made in Nigeria goods and services.
This, he was confident, would not only help grow the economy, improve productivity and competitiveness, create wealth for the people, helped reduce poverty, create jobs, but would help the military to be one of the best in the world.