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Nigeria to become major force in global science, technology

Nigeria government has reiterated its determination to create an enabling environment to mobilize local and attract more foreign direct investments into the country and at the same time empower Nigerians to participate actively in the management of the economy.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu while addressing Journalists at the World Press Conference on Presidential Executive Order No. 5 in Lagos, said that the order was for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, Science, Engineering and Technology.

Dr. Onu stated that no administration has ever shown such commitment to strengthen the role of Science, technology and innovation in nation building than the present administration who has recognized the use of Science, Technology and innovation as well as the effective participation of young people, professionals,and indigenous contractors and consultants as indispensable if Nigeria is to become a truly great nation.

According to him, in the history of any nation, there comes a time when critical decisions have to be taken in order to quickly move to a new level of development of the nation, so as to more effectively protect and secure the citizens. The Executive Order No. 5 could not have come at a better time than now.

The Minister said the economic development plan, the national economic recovery and growth plan (NERGP) 2017-2020 has recognized that science and technology will drive productivity and economic activity in all sector.

The Science and Technology Minister added that Buhari's administration expect that in the next 10-20 years, Nigerian companies and firms with compete at the world level for projects and contracts in international tenders.

He said the Executive Order entails procuring entities to give preference to Nigerian companies and firms when awarding contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2017.

Based on this, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, shall establish centers for acquisition of technology in the six geopolitical zones of the country. This will be used for the promotion of technology utilization, strengthening of technology management capacity and information system.

All foreign experts working in Nigeria have to be certified by the appropriate regulatory bodies. In such cases, efforts will be intensified to train Nigerians to have the same skills.

No expatriate quota will be granted unless such skills are completely unavailable. In some special cases, foreign experts will be admitted into Nigeria under a special immigration classification so as to share knowledge with Nigerians, he said.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Bitrus Nabasu, also added that this new development will herald a new foundation for a strong knowledge-based economy within the country.

Source: Voice of Nigeria