November 18, 2015

We have no reason to buy weapons outside Nigeria – Onu

We have no reason to buy weapons outside Nigeria – Onu

Ogbonnaya Onu

By Emmanuel Elebeke

Barely one week after their formal inauguration, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, Wednesday, espoused his vision for the country, saying that Nigeria has no reason to buy weapons from other nations.

The Minister who spoke during his inaugural meeting with the directors and heads in the ministry, said Science and Tech Ministry is at the centre of three major promises of security; job creation and fight against corruption, which were made by the new APC administration.

He assured of his resolve to explore the nations’ potentials in science and technology in tackling the issue of insecurity across the country.

‘‘When we needed weapons to fight insurgents in the North East, it was difficult, even with our own money. Why do we need to go outside to buy weapons? When we have able men and materials that can manufacture most of the military equipment that we need.

‘‘India was buying weapons before but is now in a position to produce what they need, the defense industry we have in Kaduna was established at the same time with that of Brazil, but today theirs can manufacture aircraft, ships, tanks but ours will take a very long time unless we act very urgently.

‘‘Our ministry is very strategic as far as securing the nation is concerned. In the area of growing our economy, for too long, we have been a consuming nation; we import most of our needs.

‘‘We export wood but we import tooth pick, we export crude oil and import petroleum products, we export cocoa but import chocolate, this can be very disturbing.

‘‘The missing link is that the key we need to open the door for prosperity is missing, despite having all it takes to be a great nation.’’

In terms of economy, reducing poverty, creating jobs, ‘the Minister maintained that science and technology are vital in actualizing the objectives of the government and promised to leverage on the available opportunities to achieve the objectives.