NIGERIA WILL HONOUR ALL BILATERAL AGREEMENTS WITH PEOPLES' REPUBLIC OF CHINA-OGBONNAYA ONU
The Honourable Minister of Science & Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu recieved Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Gu X Laojiein his Office on Tuesday 29th March, 2016. The purpose of the visit is to strenghen bilateral cooperation between the two countries . In his statement the Honourable Minister reaffirmed that the Federal Government of Nigeria, under President Mohammadu Buhari will honour all bilateral agreements entered with the Peoples' Republic of China. He equally assured the Ambassador of his Ministry cooperation in excuting such agreements. In his opening remarks congratulates the Honourable Minister on his appointment by President Mohammadu Buhari and on his effort to strengthen Nigeria STI policy.
He stated further that the Chinese government will continue to give their support in the transformation of Nigeria, especially in times of technological and infrastructural advancement of the nation.
THE HMST COMMISSIONED OF THE ABUJA OFFICE OF THE NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF SCIENCE LABORATORY TECHNOLOGY(NISLT)
The ceremony which was conducted on Monday 21ST MARCH, 2016commenced with the arrival of the Honourable Minister of Science & Technology(HMST) at exactly 10:00am prompt, who was accompanied by his wife and two children. After the citation of the National Anthem, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. (Mrs.) Habiba M. Lawal delivered the welcome address and averred that commissioning of Abuja Office of NISLT would be useful to Nigerian scientists and technologists and promote Science Laboratory Technology in Nigeria and this was immediately followed by the brief on the project by the Director-General/Registrar of NISLT, Dr. Ighodalo .F. Ijagbone.
There were goodwill messages from the Chairman of the NISLT Council, Elder Olu Ajayi who made passionate appeal for the replication of such edifices in the six (6) geo-graphical zones of the country for Nigerians to reap the benefits of the Institute efforts in the development of Science & Technology. Other messages came from Civil Societies who commended the HMST for his leadership role and tremendous efforts in the development of STI.
Dignitaries who graced the occasion were the Directors form the Ministry, namely, Mrs. G.I Ejiogu, D(HRM); Engr. M. Gummi, D(Renewable Energy); Dr. A.A Talabi D(TAA); Mr. Leon Aliboh, D(ICT);Mr. Charles Ogbuogbe, D(F&A); Peter Ekweozoh, D(EST);Pharm. Abayomi Oguntunde, D(BioResources); Mrs. Laditan Bolatito, D(PRPA) and Dr.(Mrs) Okonronkwo, D(Chemical Technology). Others were the Directors and Staff of NISLT and relevant stakeholders in the STI sector.
The HMST gave the opening address and expressed his joy for the completion of the edifice being one of such in the country to be built by the Institute. He traced the journey from 2003 when the project started and enjoined the Institute to ensure that the facilities were fully utilized for the upliftment and promotion of Science & Technology in the country. He urged the office to organize scientific competitions for Nigeria youth to increase awareness on the importance of Science and Technology in building Nigeria economy and identify and celebrate talented youths in all the 774 Local Government Areas of Nigeria. He reiterated that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to using Science, Technology and Innovations to diversify Nigerian economy. He stated further that Nigerians must rise up and employ Science, Technology and Innovations as suitable and veritable instrument for diversifying and strengthening Nigerian economy in the face of dwindling oil revenue . He re-affirmed the need for Science, Technology and Innovation Revolution in Nigeria which he said should come from all directions.
Later, he proceeded to commission the edifice and toured the same with the other Guests at the occasion.
After the touring of the edifice, the HMST gave the closing remarks, promising to complete the other buildings within the premises of the Institute.
The Director of Science & Technology Promotion and the supervising Director of the Institute, Mr. J.E. Udoh gave the vote of thanks.
Onu Charge Nigerians on the application of Biotechnology for economic development
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has charged Nigerians to embrace the application of Biotechnology in agricultural production for poverty alleviation and economic development.
The Minister gave the charge at the opening ceremony of a three-day workshop with the theme “The Role of Agricultural Biotechnology in the achievement of Food Security and Economic diversity in Nigeria” organized by National Biotechnology Development Agency in Abuja.
Dr Onu told participants at the workshop that President Mohammed Buhari is committed to ensuring that science and technology are effectively utilized to serve the nation, feed our people, cloth and shelter them, grow the economy, find jobs for the young and old, and ensure that rule of law is upheld.
He noted that “Nigeria is blessed with enormous natural resources that no Nigerian should be allowed to go hungry. Biotechnology has tremendous potentials to help us achieve food security and also protect our health and environment”.
The minister stated that modern biotechnology will help us to produce high yield variety of seedlings that is also disease and pest resistant which can also withstand harsh and adverse conditions in view of the current global climate.
Earlier, the Director-General of National Biosafety Management Agency, Rufus Ebegba disclosed that the aim of the workshop is to build confidence in the adoption of safe biotechnology as an alternative tool for the diversification of the economy to enhance the “change agenda of the Federal government of Nigeria”.
According to Ebegba, it also intended to bring biotechnology to the front burner in the diversification of Nigeria’s economy under a sound biosafety regulatory framework. The DG of NBMA added that it is “to encourage research community and developers of product of agricultural biotechnology to intensify their activities in the development of safe biotechnology product in line with the “change agenda” of the Federal government.
In her presentation, the Director General /CEO of National Biotechnology Development Agency Prof. Lucy Ogbadu noted that NABDA is stepping up the promotion ,coordination, research agenda setting, development process and product for socio-economic well-being of the nation.
NO LONGER WILL ANY NIGERIAN GO TO BED HUNGRY- SAYS ONU
The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu in his Keynote Address at a Workshop titled“The Role of Agricultural Biotechnology in the Achievement of Food Security and Economic Diversification” at Sheraton Hotel, Abuja acknowledged the role of Agricultural Biotechnology in the achievement of food security and economic diversification in Nigeria especially at this time when efforts are being made to utilize science,technology and innovation to support the development of the agricultural sector. The Honourable Minister added that Biotechnology has a critical role to play in enhancing agricultural production, and making agriculture a business as against a mere subsistent means of livelihood since our population grows astronomically, the available land for agricultural purposes will continue to decrease.
The Honourable Minister further stated that Nigeria is so blessed with enormous natural resources that no Nigerian should be allowed to go hungry.This shows the commitment of the present administration under Mohammadu Buhari to strenghen Science, Technology and Innovation in our effort to feed ourselves, diversify our economy, reduce poverty, protect our environment, defeat illitracy, create jobs and restore honour and accountability in the conduct of government business.
In his welcome Address, the DG/CEO, Nigeria Biosafety Management Agency (NBMA),Mr. Rufus Ebegba, stated that any technology without regulation is bound to vanish.
Also in the Goodwill Message delivered by Dr P. O. Ojo, , DG/CEO, National Agricultural Seed Council (NASC ), reiterated that Agriculture is one of the pillars the present Administration is leaning on to bring desire diversification to enhance non-crude oil foreign earnings, ensure self-sufficiency in food production, food security, job and wealth creation and poverty reduction. Therefore modern Biotechnology tools could be used to enhance Agriculture.
Prof. (Mrs) L. J. Ogbadu, DG/CEO, National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) in her presentation at the Workshop made mention of importance of Biotechnology in Agricultural Development and how Biotechnology can be used to tackle issues affecting farmers in terms of low seed multiplication ratio within a short period and how to produce disease free planting materials.