The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged Nigerian youths to embrace Science and Technology Innovations (STI) for self reliance and sustainable socio-economic development.
Onu gave the task on Friday in Enugu after receiving an award during the “Nzuko Oha Ndi Ntorobia Igbo 2020’’ organised by Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide.
The minister said that Nigerian youths must embrace STI since the richest people in the world, as of now, made their money through technological innovations and programmes.
According to him, I want you (youths) to be like them. There should be no doubt in your mind, that you can do this. You can do it, because those who have succeeded are human beings like you.
Onu said: “This can only be achieved through the effective deployment of science, technology and innovation and I encourage all our youths to embrace them.
“Our desire as a nation to diversify our economy, build our infrastructure, improve our schools and hospitals, strengthen our currency, feed our people, generate enough jobs, defeat poverty and secure our nation, can only be achieved through effective utilization of science and technology.”
The minister said that youths must help the nation in the war to gain true economic independence, adding that the mistakes of the past of having low productivity and innovative stance must be corrected.
According to him, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is determined to ensure that many of the things imported into the country are produced locally. Nigeria is blessed with abundance of natural resources.
“We need to ensure that we can convert these enormous natural resources, that are found in all parts of the country, into products and services that we need at home.
“When we are able to produce most of our needs at home and export the surplus to other nations, we will win the war for economic independence.
“This will help us create enough jobs for our people as well as create wealth for both our citizens and the nation.”
On the award, Onu thanked Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth for giving him the Heroes Award 2020, as “The Foremost Igbo Political Leader in Contemporary Nigeria,” adding “It means a lot to me coming from our youths as future leaders.”
“I am happy that you will continue to deploy your energy, intelligence, drive, resourcefulness, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit in the development of both our communities and the nation.
“Your service to the community is captured in the age-grade system in our various communities,” he added.
Earlier, Chief Arthur Obiora, President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Wing Worldwide, described Onu as a ‘role model’ to Igbo youths adding that he had remained a politician with integrity and humility.
“Onu has remained a role model to many Nigerians. A personality that the Igbo nation and Nigeria have continued to be proud of and all along these years, exhibited exemplary conduct and dignity in his political and public life.
“Onu, as a true Igbo son, has continued to build bridges of understanding and oneness among other tribes and nations within the country,” Obiora said.