The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged private sector to take advantage of research prototypes showcased at the 2021 Technology and Innovation Expo to invest.
The Minister who made the appeal during the closing ceremony of the 2021 edition of the technology and innovation expo held on Friday in Abuja, said it this would create jobs for the people.
According to him, taking advantage of the expo outputs will also help to reduce poverty and crime in the country as well as create wealth for them and the nation.
Onu stated that the large number of the unemployed of today which stood at 33.3 per cent at fourth quarter of 2020 should not cause despair.
He said that the tremendous opportunity that was open should instead be seen.
The minister was positive that the high level of unemployment was an indication that the young people of Nigeria were willing to work but had no work to do.
He said that what that meant was that if the youth were given work they would help grow the nation’s economy.
Onu hinted that Nigeria’s efforts to diversify the economy could only be effectively sustainable if science, technology and innovation could be deployed to the nation’s building.
“The technologies that we develop in the country today will be the foundation for new startups that will grow into large scale businesses tomorrow,” Onu said.
The Minister noted that the output of the past four editions of the Expo had led to the creation of many micro and small scale businesses in the country.
He said that he was convinced that those businesses in the near future would grow into medium and large scale enterprises.
He added that some of the inventions displayed at earlier Expos, upon close examination, showed that significant improvement was made as a way to help improve the productivity of the country.
Onu commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting scholarship awards up to the Doctorate level in any Nigerian University to three most promising young scientists in the country.
“This is a way of encouraging the study of science and mathematics in our schools,” he said.
Mr Edet Akpan, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, also commended Buhari’s administration and all participants for the success of the 2021 Expo.
Akpan said most of the inventions displayed at the Expo ground were in line with the realities of COVID-19.
Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, Minister of Foreign Affairs, in his goodwill message, said no society could prosper and grow without innovation.
Onyeama, said that at least two per cent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) should be allocated to research, development and Innovation
Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, also remarked that the Expo was an important event which gave people the opportunity to showcase what they could do.
He advised that the Expo should be held more frequently.