Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology , Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the determination by the government to rebuild a Nigeria that all can be proud of cannot be actualized without deploying science and technology to move the country to a path of sufficiency and prosperity.
The minister stated this in Abuja at the end of a-five day Technology and Innovation expo held at Eagle Square.
He noted that the 2017 expo have shown that Nigeria is on the move and that Nigerians have shown that they are capable of inventions that could change the course of history.
Onu assured that the ministry would not rest until science, technology and innovation become the driving force in Nigeria’s effort to diversify her economy in order to stimulate sustainable development.
The minister, who decried the recent xenophobic attacks on Nigerians in South Africa and India, noted that with a strong and diversified economy driven by science and innovation, Nigerians would be happy to remain home and contribute to national development, rather than take unnecessary risk that would expose them to xenophobic attacks, hostility or death.
Onu said: “I commend the participants at this expo for showing the Nigerian spirit in them. Our hearts will never depart you because you are the future of Nigeria. We shall follow up on your inventions and mobilise the organised private sector to work together with you in the pursuit of the commercialisation and your inventions.
“The challenge we face is to rebuild our nation and move her along the path of self-sufficiency , prosperity, and international respect.
“I am confident that we have taken the right steps in our journey to greatness. What is required is for us to build on our achievements so far and remain determined and focused in our collective desire to build a modern Nigeria where science, technology and innovation will be the engine for economic growth and development, “the minister added.
However, awards and cash prizes were presented to outstanding exhibitors in four categories which include; Research institutions, technology and Entrepreneurship, tertiary institutions and Junior Engineers, Technicians and Scientists (JETS).
In the Research institutions category Nigeria Air Force (NAF) came first- Air craft management technology, engine compression, washing machine; while Nigeria Building and Research Institute (NIBRI), Abuja, came second for constructing a moveable house, Raw Materials Research and Development Council came third for producing a break pad for vehicles.
In the tertiary institutions category, University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka came first, while Kastina Polytechnic came second and Covenant university came third, among others.
First position in each category N1 million, second position N750 and third N500; while first position in JETS category was given N300,000 second position want home with N200,000 and third N100,000.