Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minster of Science and Technology says Science and Technology is key to national development. Onu represented by Mr Taiye Akinyemi, the Ministry’s Director of Media, said this at the 1st Annual Lecture and Award Night organised by the Leadership Scorecard in Abuja on Wednesday. The annual lecture has the theme: “Recession in Nigeria: The Way Forward’’.
According to the minister, science and technology has not been given its rightful place in the development of Nigeria. “There has been a missing link, that has been the bane of Nigeria and that is the fact that no one has given attention to science and technology in national development. “The difference between a developed, developing and under developed country is science and technology. “Nigeria is in recession now, because there is no cushion and there is no cushion because science and technology has not been put in its rightful place.’’ He stressed the fact that everything which concerned mankind such as agriculture and health had to do with science and technology.
Onu, however, noted that the present administration recognised the importance of science and technology to national development. Dr Emman Shehu, the Chairman of the occasion on the sidelines, said that Nigerians needed to respect individual ideas and opinions for the country to develop. Shehu, who is the Chairman International Institute of Journalism, explained that Nigerians had to be creative in coming up with ideas to end the recession. According to him, a society that progresses is a society that respects and encourages ideas because no society can progress without ideas. “Once you do not encourage ideas then you always play second fiddle and that is part of the problem we have in developing economies. “Developed economies are forward looking because they always think out of the box, so they progress. “Maybe that is what we need to do with the situation of the recession; we have to think creatively on how to get out of the recession “How do we creatively make the leadership and politics better, how do we creatively criticise government.’’
He said that people should not just be satisfied with expressing contrary views but must go ahead to proffer solutions. According to him, politicians and Nigerians in general must not label a person with a contrary view or idea as an enemy of the state. “In countries that are developed, they encourage everyone irrespective of one’s position or pedigree to bring ideas. “So, we need to have that re-orientation to respect ideas, respect opinions in this country if we are going to progress,’’ he said.