The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has called for reduction in the importation of food in the country in order to correct the mistakes Nigeria made in the past, saying that only science and technology can totally stop unfortunate trend.
He said this at the 38th annual conference of the Association for Consulting Engineering in Nigeria (ACEN).
“Nigeria cannot continue to depend on foreign expertise for national development. It is only Nigerians that can best develop the country,” the minister said, adding that Nigeria imports rice, cotton, palm oil among others.
He declared we cannot continue that way.
On what science is doing to ensure there is enough food in 2017, Onu said: “Things like these do not happen overnight. Agriculture is at least 90 per cent science and technology. In some countries, it is as high as 95 per cent. The reason we have not been doing well in agriculture is that we have not deployed science and technology as we should. Many Nigerians forget there was a time we used to export rice,” he said.
He added that the Ministry of Science and Technology would ensure that the trend is changed by working together with other stakeholders.
“Science and Tech is important in the creation of wealth. We will not rest until we have strengthened our indigenous capacity to become an important capacity in economic renewal.
Mistakes made in the past need to be corrected urgently. The situation today is that we need foreign engineers to do our jobs. This should change. We should not cintinue to repeat avoidable mistakes,” the minister said.
Having lauded the ACEN for its continuous contribution in nation building, he called for support from citizens.
“We need the support of all Nigerians and the expertise, skills and talents of the ACEN to help in executing our goals. We should not continue to make affordable mistakes,” he said.