MINISTER of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has disclosed that his ministry would need about N180 billion to implement its roadmap for the short term.
He made this disclosure at the weekend during an interactive session with the staff of the ministry in the North-Central Zone on the National Science, Technology and Innovation Road Map (NSTIR 2017-2030).
The minister said the roadmap was in the best interest of the country, adding that the funds would be required for a period of three years with just N60 billion per year.
Unlike other roadmaps that run for four years, the minister said the NSTIR was slated to run for a period of 13 years, 2017-2030 to enable the country utilized its abundant human and material resources to achieve rapid national development.
According to him: “the roadmap is in the best interest of our country, the efforts that will be achieved from it will help move our economy from resource based to a knowledge-based innovation-driven country.
“The total estimated funding requirements for the short-term NSTIR 2030 programme is N180 billion over 3 years which averages just N60 billion per year. It should be noted that the budget that was passed for science and technology for Nigeria in 2014 was a paltry N36 billion out of a total national budget of N49 trillion which was 0.73% of that national budget.
“There has not been much improvement budget allocation to STI in Nigeria. An allocation of 3-4% would be adequate to generate significant advancement for the benefit of Nigeria.
“These efforts will help move our economy from a resource based to a knowledge-based innovation-driven economy. The future of our dear country, Nigeria, rests on science and technology. We must efficiently deploy science and technology to effectively utilize our abundant human and material resources for job and wealth creation in order to achieve rapid national development.” He added.
In a related development, the minister said the Presidential Executive Order N0. 5 will improve the quality of life of Nigerians by industrializing the country, creating employment and make Nigerians to be self-reliant.
According to him, the Executive Order No.5 will transform Nigerians beyond what anybody can imagine as it took into cognizance positive experience of other countries.
He said that the Executive Order was not restricted to only engineering and technology alone but all professionals in different fields, describing it as an evolutionary process that will make Nigeria to be their best and self-confident.
Dr Onu said Nigeria was endowed with intelligent people whose talents were not being utilized, urging Nigerian journalists to publicize the Order to all Nigerians, so that many small-scale industries would be transformed into medium-scale with the new order.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Bitrus Bako Nabasu said the Order was a deliberate step by this admiration to move Nigeria to a new direction.
Also speaking, the President, Nigerian Society of Engineers, Engineer Adekunle Mokwelu charged engineers to propagate it which was being driven by the minister, describing him as a deep river flowing in momentous silence.
He said that the no country developed without science and technology and that Nigeria would change in the next five years if everybody owns the Executive Order.