The Federal Government yesterday revealed that it is giving serious attention to science and technology as a way of diversifying the economy in response to the crash in crude oil prices at the international market and militant activities in the Niger Delta.
Speaking during a working visit to the National Centre for Remote Sensing, NCRS, Jos, Plateau State, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the ministry has received the support of President Muhammadu Buhari in this regard.
He pointed out that with diversified economy, heavily-populated countries like China and India are able to feed their nations and maintain dependable economy; “and if these countries can feed their people, there is no reason Nigeria shouldn’t be able to do same.”
Onu, who called on governors to create awareness and enabling environment for science and technology to thrive in their various states, reiterated that with adequate technology in place, Nigeria can become self-sufficient even in the absence of crude oil.
Acknowledging the giant strides of the NCRS in the areas of researches and geo-informatics services in the face of limited funding, he expressed optimism that if given adequate funding, the centre can excel in many other areas like predicting earthquakes and tremor.
Going through the laboratories of the Centre, the minister noted that activities of NCRS can provide immense benefits to other ministries and agencies such as Agriculture, Environment, Water resources, Aviation, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), whom, according to the Minister, can get sufficient data and information to guide them.
He, therefore, charged the Director of the Centre, Dr. Efron Gajere to draft letters which he will personally sign and send to the concerned ministries and agencies to enlighten them of the activities of the Centre and to advise them to collaborate with NCRS with the aim of benefiting from its wealth of researches.