By Emmanuel Elebeke & Favour Ulebor
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Tuesday said the penchant of Nigerians seeking foreign exchange to meet their needs is responsible for the pressure on the Naira.
The minister stated this when the President of the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Rev. Ugochukwu Chime, paid him a courtesy visit at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
”If the majority of the imported goods, were locally produced in the country there would not have been any pressure on the local currency.
”China does not experience any pressure on its currency because it’s produces virtually all its goods and services locally, yet, the country does not have as much natural resources as Nigeria.
“China today has surplus cash and can therefore develop its infrastructure, train its citizens as that should be Nigeria’s position,” he said.
He promised that the the ministry will help to redirect the country so that it will gain that self confidence so that its dependence on other countries for goods and services will stop.
He added that Nigeria has the capacity to use science and technology for nation building.
Onu informed his visitors that the ministry will be using its forthcoming expo on technology innovation to demonstrate that scientific can be used to drive the country’s economy.
“The format for the expo now will be different as it is not a trade fair. The expo will only dwell on research work ready for commercialization as Nigeria is now ready to join the world in the area of of innovation.
“No doubt our forefathers were creative and innovative but over the last century we have lagged behind as no importance was attached to science and technology and the development of the country was not based on science and technology.
“That is why today Nigeria has been depending so much on importation as we should be able to produce to meet our needs and then export as that is the way the economy can be strong.” said the Minister.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chime, who said he came to solicit the support of the ministry in its coming fair added that over 350 corporate agencies, companies have indicated interest to participate in the forthcoming 28th trade fair.
“We have introduced so many innovations to make this year’s fair very meaningful and beneficial to all stakeholders. Part of our strategy this year is to provide endearing platform for interaction among stakeholders for matchmaking and joint venture partnership deals,” Chime said.