The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said that Nigeria has made tremendous breakthrough in import reduction, by cumulatively saving N5.03 trillion from 2017 to 2020.
The Minister revealed this at the closing ceremony of the just concluded STI EXPO 2022 in Abuja.
The Minister, who quoted the data by the United Nations Harmonised System Code and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the feat was made possible through progressive reforms and policy interventions of the administration.
Dr. Onu said that due to advancement in STI, the nation has become a home for start-ups, as technology has been transferred to many of the nation’s MSME’S (Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises).
“Nigeria has become a home of start-ups. Using one of our agencies, the National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI), which has branches in all the States of the Federation, technologies developed locally are transferred to many of our entrepreneurs. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are springing up in many parts of the country.”
He added that in the past six years, the country has made significant breakthrough in providing remedy to major diseases in form of drugs and medicine derived from our indigenous natural ingredients. He further said the country has made a lot of progress in the development of new drugs and they are at different levels of certification including clinical trials.
In the areas of agriculture and food security, the minister said that the country had made commendable efforts highly commendable, adding that through research and innovation, efforts are ongoing to provide food security as well as agro raw materials for our industries.
He noted that Nigerian youths have been encouraged to actively participate in the STI sub sector through studying STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
On gender balance and sensitivity, He said; “We embarked on gender sensitive programmes to make STI inclusive, so as to improve the participation of girls and women in scientific research and innovation activities.”
Earlier, in a goodwill message the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire said STI has been helpful in the production of solar panels to provide electricity to rural primary health care centres.
He added that inter-ministerial cooperation is needed to achieve meaningful breakthrough in the delivery of healthcare services to Nigerians.
Highlight of the event was presentation of awards of different categories to winners.
For tertiary institutions, the awards went to Michael Okpara University, Umudike, Ladoke Akintola University and University of Technology, Ogbomosho, and University of Jos.
Others areas of award include: Research Institutions; state Ministries; Technology Entrepreneurs and JETS.