Onu: Why Nigeria Couldn’t Diversify Economy Since Independence


Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, on Tuesday said past administrations failed to diversify the nation’s economy because of the lack of recognition of science and technology as driver of growth and development.

The minister regretted that 20 years after the country’s independence, it did not create the ministry of science and technology, adding that China, India and Singapore created the ministry as soon as they attained independence.

The absence of science and technology, the minister said, has left Nigeria even as the 6 largest exporter of crude oil to be importing refined oil, petrol fertilizer and toothpicks even when it has all the material and human resources.

“Even with the mono product economy, if we had diversified, our economy would have been far stronger than it is today. This become imperative because the major assignment that I have in this ministry to make the average Nigerian appreciates the importance of science and technology to the country’s wellbeing.” he said

Onu spoke when he received members of the National Mathematical Centre, led by its Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Prof. Adewale Solarin in Abuja.

He said no nation can attain relevance in the international community today without the application of science and technology in its growth road map.

While calling on parents to encourage their wards to study Sciences and Mathematics related subjects, at both the primary and secondary school levels, he added that the ministry will support the Centre in its forth coming symposium.

He said: “It is expected that by the end of this century the population of Nigeria will be 1 billion growing at the current rate. This symposium should help stimulate the orientation of young Mathematicians to apply basic science application to development.”

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