By Gloria Ogbaki, Abuja
The Federal Government says it is set to strengthen its cooperation with UNESCO, in ensuring that Science and Technology is fully embraced for meaningful national development.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonaya Onu disclosed this at the National workshop on the development of a second project under the UNESCO special plan, for cooperation for the reform and revitalisation of the Nigerian Science, Technology and Innovation system (STI).
Onu stressed that there is a strong need to effectively mobilise all Nigerians, to acknowledge the fact that the future of the nation rests on science and technology.
“We need to invest heavily in Science and Technology, Research and Innovation, as the developed countries of the world are doing.
“When this is done, we should be able to effectively and efficiently utilize the enormous natural resources in the country, to locally produce our needs instead of remaining a consumer nation that imports virtually everything that she needs,” he said.
The Minister emphasised that Science and Technology holds the key to the development of any nation; and that no nation has ever been truly great without science and technology.
The director of UNESCO regional office, Dr. Benoit Sossou, in his opening address said that the goals and visions of Nigeria’s Vision 20:2020, and by extension, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) are only attainable when Science, Technology and Innovation system are fully integrated into the national socio-economic policy .
He assured all stakeholders that UNESCO would continue to provide technical assistance , play advisory roles and work in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Education, and other relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), in promoting STI systems for sustainable development .
The project which began in 2014 and was reported to have built science and innovation capacities in the country, while providing high level policy, culminated to the 2012 Nigeria STI policy.
The aim of the workshop was to discuss the concept and develop a widely endorsed proposal for phase two.
It is expected that the final proposal will be submitted to the Federal Government of Nigeria and other donor agencies for consideration.