FG to strengthen partnership with UNESCO
The Federal government is strengthening its cooperation with UNESCO in ensuring that Science and Technology is fully embraced for meaningful national development.
The Minister disclosed this at the National workshop on the development of a second project under the UNESCO special plan for cooperation for the reform and revitalization of the Nigerian science, technology and Innovation system.
Dr. Onu stressed that there is a strong need to effectively mobilise all Nigerians to acknowledge the fact that the future of our dear nation rest 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.
“This will also help provide the venture capital needed to accelerate the commercialization of research findings; this will be very helpful since Ideas will then be converted into goods and services available in the market place.
According to the minister, the tree of science and technology will bear fruit when watered by government, industry, universities and research institution working together.
Dr. Onu stressed that science and technology hold the key to the development of any nation. He stated that no nation has ever been truly great without science and technology. “The level of acquisition of science and technology determines whether a nation is developed or not”. Dr Onu concluded.
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 .
Dr. Sossou stated that there is no doubt that most African country including Nigeria struggled to achieve the development objectives of the MDGs. Some of the major reasons, according to the UNESCO regional director, “being that most countries did not invest substantially in building human resources capacity and lacked sustained effort in promoting scientific research and development”.
He assured all the stakeholders that UNESCO will 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 g STI systems for sustainable development .
The project began in 2014 and was reported to have built science and innovation capacities in the country while providing high level policy which culminated to the 2012 Nigeria STI policy.
With the effective efforts of all stakeholders who played vital roles in the success of the Phase one project also with the effective cooperation of Nigeria Delegation to UNESCO and the Federal Ministry of science and technology (FMST), UNESCO was requested to commence the preparation of a proposal for phase two of the project .
The main reason for the workshop was to discuss the concept and develop a wildly 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.
Dr Ogbonaya to deliver 56th anniversary and public day lecture of Ghana
The Honourable Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonaya Onu is to deliver the 2016 “Republic Day” Lecture of Ghana as one of the key activity of events Marking the 56thAnniversary of Ghana as an independent country.
Ghana, wish gained independence from Britain on 6th march, 1957 and became a Republic on 1st march 1960 invited the minister through Honourable Mhaha Ayaringa, the Minister of Environment, Science, Technology and Environment for the lecture scheduled to hold on Thursday 30th June, 2016.
The theme for this year’s lecture is “Technology, the key to African Development” and would be climaxed by a state Lunch in honour of Ghana’s Senior Citizens on Friday July 1st 2016 to which Dr. Onu has also been invited.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Science and Technology, has since assumption of duty, emphasized that Africa has largely remained under developed because of past and even present Africa leaders’ failure to properly see and embrace Science and technology as the key to national Development.
He has also repeatedly argued that “no nation, whether in ancient or modern times, has ever develop without Science and technology”, and until this is appreciated, Africa will remain under developed.
The topical nature of the theme of the 2016 “Republic Day” Lecture of the Republic of Ghana is therefore seen as another opportunity for Dr. Onu to challenge leaders and citizens of Africa to see and appreciated the need to embrace science and technology in the quest to free Africa from poverty, disease
and other problems confronting Africa.
Onu call for collaborative research on alternative energy
All agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and technology will work together in tacking challenges facing the country as their activities either jointly or individually touch on every facet of our national life the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has said.,
Dr Onu gave the charge at the flagging off a two-week Hands-On Training for Rural Youths and women Potters on the Design, fabrication and Installation of Locally Made Metal and Clay-Based Energy-Efficient (Eco-Friendly) Wood Cookstoves in Ushafa, a suburb of the Federal capital territory (FCT).
According to the Minister, “It is for this reason that they are here to work together in the area of research and development to create alternative energy power generation”.
The Minister said that Nigeria should not continue to depend on one source of energy and charged Energy Commission of Nigeria to partner with stakeholders and other research institutes to ensure that Nigeria play a key role in the energy sector .
He wants Nigeria to be in a position to “ensure that we do things that will be friendly to our environment” and also charge the trainee to make maximum use of the opportunity afforded by the training which is organized by the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) in collaboration with United Nation Development Programme (UNDP).
The Country representative of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Dr.Pa Lamin Beyai said that the training is part of many research efforts to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the risk often associated with traditional cooking methods
He noted that the main objective of the project is to train women and youths who are conversant with pottery and welding business respectively on the design, fabrication and molding as well installation of clay-based improved woodstoves
The Director-General of Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) stated that In Nigeria, fuelwood cook stoves account for more than 80% of the household energy supply, with attendant large consumption of firewood. “Therefore policy intervention that will enhance the dissemination of improved cooking stoves will not only reduce the volume of fulewood consumed but will reduce levels of emissions to the human beings and the environment”
Dr.Bala disclosed that the training would involve 50 youths and women in total, with 25 for start.
Onu decry the importation of herbal products into the country
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has described as unacceptable the rate at which Nigeria imports all forms of herbal products from different parts of the world.
The Minister stated this while the fourth Annual Clinical Trial Summit in Nigeria with the theme Clinical Research and Public health Emergencies in Sub-Saharan Africa and the sub-theme Role of the private Sector in Public health emergencies held in Abuja.
Dr. Onu noted that “this does not make sense because our biodiversity and bioresources is extremely rich, vast and diverse, which if properly exploited can meet our needs and those of others in the world. We have so much capacity in Nigeria and if we rely on what we can do for ourselves as a people we would build a very strong economy”.
According to the Minister “The sharp drop in the price of crude oil and its attendant effect on the reduction of the availability of foreign exchange leaves us with no other option than to look inwards to sources our needs. I urge all Nigerians to look inward to the solution for our problems. Nigeria’s problems can best be solved by Nigerians. We can no longer continue with the foreign taste we have developed over the years”
The Minister of Health Professor Isaac Folurunso Adewole said that the Federal Ministry of Health would continue to develop incentives for everyone who wants to invest in the health sector including research.
The Minister, who was represented by the Dr. Ngozi Azodo, Director Planning, Research and Statistics in the Ministry, noted that the Federal government is committed to working with the organizers to redress some of the problems in the health sector by using local resources, building the capacity of researchers especially in research on local herbs.
He said all the support necessary would be given to Nigerian Clinical trials Technical working group to put Nigeria on the Global map
In keynote address Prof Maurice Iwu , The President of Bioresources Development Group (BDG), an independent biosciences research and development organization that cultivates, process and produce medicines and cosmetics from natural products call for proper harmonization and synergy between of traditional medicine and orthodox medicine.
In her open address, The Chairperson, Association for good clinical practices in Nigeria (AGCPN) and the Chairman Nigerian clinical Trials Technical working Group Proff. Ifeoma Okoye said that the establishment of a vibrant Clinical Trail Industry in Africa will energize, lift research, empower university and hospital infrastructure.
The convener and initiator of the Clinical trial summits and Clinical trials Africa-Vision 2020 initiative noted that it would enable Africans participate in the Drug development process, which will ultimately foster indigenous development of drugs and medical devices in Africa.
According to the Professor of Radiologist it would lead to improved ‘standard of care”, drug availability and affordability and also empower African economy, improving the GMP considerably.