Ogbonnaya Onu, Pascal Dozie, others urge deployment of science, technology for nation building

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu joined by Pascal Dozie, founder of Diamond Bank and other eminent Nigerian’s have called on entrepreneurs and the private sector to deploy science and technology in their businesses for nation-building.

They noted that no nation both in the past and in the future can become truly great without deploying science and technology.

Ogbonnaya Onu who spoke at a breakfast meeting organised by his ministry for entrepreneurs, investors and financial experts in Lagos, focused on the growth and development of the county’s economy through inventions and innovations.

While addressing attendants at the meeting, the minister stated that Nigeria should not only be consumers of essential scientific research and innovation products but should rather be both producers and consumers of these products.

Ogbonnaya noted that for Nigeria to have a bright future, with respect to achieving food security, providing safe drinking water for all Nigerians in addition to its use in agriculture and industry, providing shelter for our people, clothing both the old and the young, getting enough drugs and appropriate medical equipment for our health care, fighting and defeating illiteracy through mass and high quality education, alleviating poverty, strengthening our economy, protecting our environment, securing our nation, exploring outer space technology and the oceans, we need to effectively deploy science and technology, Ogbonnaya added.

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While outlining various projects and measures carried out by the ministry since his five years of appointment for development and growth in science and technology, he noted that these efforts are not enough because the country lacks the presence of venture capitalists.

According to him, Venture capitalists in technologically developed countries play a very important role of transforming ideas into goods, by taking the necessary risks.

He noted that Nigerians have all it takes to achieve the development of the country without calling on other countries to do so, urging entrepreneurs and investors to work harder to expand their business by helping to transform research finding into products, goods and services as the risk involved is already taken by the ministry through research and innovation activities.

Pascal Dozie, the Chairman of the occasion while giving his address stated that, there are huge potentials within the science, technology and innovation sector, which has remained largely untapped.

While I might be regarded as old school, my old intelligence and passion for a better Nigeria suggests that a new thinking is needed and it is urgent. With over 25 million Nigerians unemployed, over 80 million classified as extremely poor and major economic development variables heading south, the importance of a new thinking and framework of collaboration particularly in the Science, Technology and Innovation ecosystem cannot be over emphasized,” Pascal said.

However, he states that with over 17 Research and Development institutions of the ministry present at the breakfast meeting to make presentations of their proven innovations and ideas, he is optimistic that a robust framework for full commercialisation of the innovations can be achieved.

Mohammed Jubrin, director general, National Board of technology incubation, said that the board has been encouraging academia’s to establish institutional based incubators as well as part of the sector to establish private incubators and the intervention is yielding significant progress.

“We provide even feasible reports, Bankable business plans and other capability building activities in the areas of technology development, market research and general monitoring evaluation as well as attraction of investors,” He added.

Mohammed Abdullahi, the minister of state, Federal ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, while delivering his speech also urged entrepreneurs to have effective collaboration with the Federal ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to lift Nigeria to greater ranking in global competitiveness imperatives.