President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Science and Technology to create a conducive environment for Nigerian scientists to provide lasting solutions to the challenges of insecurity unemployment, poverty, healthcare delivery, epileptic power supply and others.
The president, who made the call at the opening of the 2020 Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Expo with the theme, ‘’Enhancing The Growth Of A Diversified Economy Through Science And Technology” yesterday in Abuja, granted full scholarships up to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) level to three secondary students who emerged winners at this year’s Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award (YONSPA) competition.
The beneficiaries are Masters Akintade Abdullahi Akanbi of Osogbo Government High School, Osun State, who came first; as well as well as second and third-placed Uwakwe Nelson Kamsiyochukwu of British Spring College, Awka, Anambra State; and Aimofumhe Eshiobomhe Sigmus of the School of the Gifted, Gwagwalada, Abuja.
Buhari commended the creativity and competitive spirit of the three young scientists who came tops in the contest tagged 774 YONSPA.He noted that Nigeria’s greatest resource was its human capital, promising that his administration would continually support human resource development.
His words: “This is richly embodied in our youths who make up tens of millions of incredibly talented persons, constantly pushing and striving towards greatness. The future of Nigeria belongs to our youths.
“This administration will therefore continue to create the enabling environment for them to develop to the fullest their potentials.‘’We will harness their energies and talents to make Nigeria achieve true greatness.”
The Nigerian leader reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to partner with the private sector on STI development to enable the sector plays its vital role in advancing the frontiers of knowledge for nation building.
‘’Government will continually support the creation of intervention funds to strengthen research and development, human capacity building programmes and collaboration with the organised private sector.
‘’We will continue to work towards the realisation of the National Research and Innovation Fund. I am aware this fund will help promote research activities in our country,’’ he said.
The president affirmed that if the nation’s science and technology potentials are fully harnessed in an enabling environment, 100 million Nigerians could be taken out of poverty in the 10 years.
‘’This remains my aim for Nigerians,’’ Buhari stressed, noting that Nigerians at home and abroad have always demonstrated remarkable ingenuity and inventiveness.
He enthused that with the right environment and policy framework, there were no limits to how far the Nigerian innovation can go.The president added: “A prime example of an outstanding Nigerian is Malam Jelani Aliyu, who is now Director-General of the National Automatic Design and Development Council.
‘’Malam Jelani designed the General Motors of America’s leading auto brand, the Chevrolet Volt. Now he is assuring Nigerians that all the cars that took part in Argungu Motor Rally were assembled in Nigeria.’’
In his remarks, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, lauded the nation’s first citizen for his efforts at promoting STI, including recognising the sector as centre of all economic activities under the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) 2017-2020. He said in the last six months, the industry had created over 900,000 job