Minister of Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu on Thursday said that made-in-Nigeria goods and services would soon attract global patronage. Onu said this while delivering a lecture at Course 27 of the National Defence College in Abuja.
He, however, stressed the need for the National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Product Development in Nigeria to be successfully implemented for the realisation of the goal. The lecture is entitled “Science and Technology and Youth Development in Nigeria’’.
The minister said that the strategy for implementation was targeted at enhancing national capacity to produce globally acceptable quality raw materials, products and services. He said that it would also help the country to overcome the burden of a mono-product economy and serve as a way of assisting its citizens to achieve self-reliance.
According to Onu, the strategy is also targeted at mobilising the abundant potential of Nigeria to attain higher global competitiveness ranking. “The uniqueness of the National Strategy for Competitiveness is the capacity to save Nigeria, N3.6 trillion from 10.8 per cent overall import reduction as well as the creation of 4.4 million quality jobs.
“This will result in an irreversible industrial revolution within five years of successful implementation. “If successfully implemented, made-in-Nigeria goods and services would attract global patronage and subsequently enhance Nigeria’s competitiveness ranking’’ Onu said.
While calling on Nigerians to continue to patronise made-in-Nigeria goods, Onu also urged manufacturers to improve on the standard of their products.
“We don’t expect the products to be the best for now, but we must keep up research to keep improving. “There is need to provide connectivity between research, industry and government.
“We are convinced that with these sectors working together, research and development results of our tertiary institutions, innovations and inventions of our citizens will easily be commercialised into products.’’
According to the minister, the joint effort will also ensure the availability of the desired services in the marketplace. He emphasised the need for the country to move from product-based economy to knowledge-based.
According to him, the need to achieve this goal propels the ministry plan establishment of a National Science and Technology Museum in Abuja.
Onu said that the museum which would be replicated in the six geopolitical zones of the country would serve the purpose of knowledge sharing among youths and adult population.
“The museum, which we have already designed but yet to build, is aimed at providing the opportunity for all citizens to touch, experience and understand scientific phenomena.
“Unlike the conventional museum, the National Science and Technology Museum will allow visitors to interact with materials on display, to stimulate their interest in deploying science and technology knowledge to address societal problems.
“It is the plan of the ministry that all the six geo-political zones of Nigeria will have a minimum of one science and technology museum to encourage states, local government areas and entrepreneurs to invest in the production of scientific knowledge.
The Commandant of the college, Rear Adm. Adeniyi Osinowo, described science and technology as a potent tool for the development of youths in the country.
He stressed the need for the country to engage youths meaningfully to check crime in the society.