Nigeria to Rely on Technology to Save Ailing Economy, Says Onu

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Seriki Adinoyi in Jos

With the near collapse of Nigeria’s economy following the crash in crude oil prices at the international market and the activities of militants in the Niger Delta, the Federal Government has revealed that it is giving serious attention to science and technology as a way of diversifying the economy.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who disclosed this at the weekend during a working visit to the National Centre for Remote Sensing (NCRS), Jos, Plateau State, said the ministry has received the support of President Muhammadu Buhari in this regard, adding that with diversified economy, heavily-populated countries like China and India are able to feed their nations and maintain dependable economy; “and if these countries can feed their people, there is no reason Nigeria shouldn’t be able to do same.”

While calling on the Governors to create awareness and enabling environment for science and technology to thrive in their various states, the Minister reiterated that with adequate technology in place, Nigeria can become self-sufficient even in the absence of crude oil.

Acknowledging the giant strides of the NCRS in the areas of researches and geo-informatics services in the face of limited funding, the Minister was optimistic that if given adequate funding, the Centre can excel in many other areas like predicting earthquakes and tremor.

Going through the laboratories of the Centre, the Minister observed that activities of NCRS can provide immense benefits to various other ministries and agencies such as Agriculture, Environment, Water resources, Aviation, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), whom, according to the Minister, can get sufficient data and information to guide them.

Onu therefore directed the Director of the Centre, Dr. Efron Gajere to draft letters which he will personally sign and send to the concerned ministries and agencies to enlighten them of the activities of the Centre and to advise them to collaborate with NCRS with the aim of benefiting from its wealth of researches.

The Minister, accompanied by the Director General of Space Research Development Agency (NASRDA), Prof. Saidu Mohammed, had earlier paid a courtesy call on the Governor of the state, Mr. Simon Bako Lalong and the Gbong Gwom Jos, Da Jacob Gyang Buba to commiserate with them over the recent demise of the traditional ruler of Bokkos, Saf Ron Kulere, Chief Lazarus Agai, who was murdered earlier in the week.