The Minister of Science and Technology Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has said that the ministry is poised to assist in providing food security through appropriate scientific and technological innovation in Nigeria.
Dr Ogbonnaya Onu stated this when a delegation of the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) led by Dr Mrs Toyin Ajenifujah –Solebo, Chairman Local Organizing Committee (LOC) NIFEST 2017, paid him a courtesy visit in his office in Abuja today.
Dr Onu said that the Ministry had done a lot of research and innovation work in the areas of food production, processing, storage and safety, noting that this administration will not rest until Nigeria is sufficient in food production.
The Minister reiterated the commitment of President Buhari’s administration to ensure that we strengthen the economy through promotion of innovative technologies that will reduce import dependence, enhance local content and strengthen self-sufficiency.
Onu highlighted the importance of deploying science and technology and innovation in the challenge of building a new Nigeria. According to him, nations of the world became great and eminent by utilizing the enormous power of science and technology to attain remarkable achievements in industrialization, economic prosperity and social harmony.
Nigerian’s case, he added, could not be different as the ministry’s through its agencies is applying science and technology to boost crop production as well as enhance the agriculture value chain.
Nigeria, as the most populous nation and, the largest economy in Africa can take the lead and look beyond its domestic market by showcasing her agricultural products through the effective utilisation of science and technology.
“It has become imperative that Nigeria seeks for the diversification of her economy in a sustainable and competitive manner by deploying science and technology as an instrument for economic growth “he added.
He further stated that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is making enormous progress with the view to increasing productivity and competiveness in the area of food production, food security and safety through science and technology in Nigeria.
Earlier in her address, Dr Toyin Solebo, informed the minister that the Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology (NIFST) is organizing an Annual General Conference in Abuja from 22nd – 25th October, 2017, at the International Conference Abuja, with the theme “ Rejuvenating the Nigerian Economy through Promotion of the Food Value Chain”.
She further said that the passage of a bill on National Council of Food Science and Technology Act presented to the National Assembly by the ministry in the 2016 budget will enable NIFST to ensure that we have the right professional within the food sector to ensure that food production processes is carried out under proper hygienic conditions.
According to her, the bill will also empower the body to regulate the activities in the sector and ensure adequate food security and provide safety nets in the country.