By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Federal Government on Friday declared that the Assumpta Science Centre, Owerri will be ready for use in four months time. The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this while performing the foundation laying ceremony of the Science centre, at Ofekata, Owerri, in Imo State.
The Minister explained that the project is in line with the Federal Government’s commitment to the initiative of International Universities and Youth Cooperation with Africa in informal science learning activities for sustainable development.
Dr. Onu stated that the project is one of the Federal Government’s Projects in the South East saying that one of the benefits of the centre is that it will contribute to the development of the country and ensure that Nigerians and indeed other African countries would become self sufficient in defending the available resources God has given them.
He maintained that national development will be difficult to achieve without the application of Science and Technology, urging all and sundry to key in to ensure that the laudable project is sustained.
The Minister argued that the difference between Africa and developed nations lies in the actualization of Science, Technology and Innovation and as such thanked the people of Ofekata for their commitment and the donation of their land to ensure that the Assumpta Science becomes a reality.
He further assured the commitment of Federal Government to ensuring the completion of the project in four monthstime, calling on the state and local governments to join hands together to ensure the success of the laudable project.
He pointed out that the neglect of science and technology affected Nigeria’s economic growth and development but expressed optimism that with the coming on board of the Assumpta science centre and other scientific innovations Nigeria is at the centre of development with the available resources Nigeria has, we would have been the at the center stage for development
Dr. Onu lamented that Africa has come to a stage where it can use its natural resources to develop our nations, adding that there is need for all the African countries to change direction, focus and embrace science, technology and innovation as it has a vital role in assisting humanity in all aspects of life, to ensure national security and higher agricultural productivity, better housing, broad communication, better health care delivery system, improve quality of life and sustainability that could help turn Nigeria into truly a great nation.
He maintained that the nation’s weak scientific and technological culture constitute to serious obstacle towards achieving the economic diversification the country is yearning for decades, assuring that the administration of president Muhammadu Buhari is willing and determined to utilize science, technology and innovation as a tool to achieve diversification of the national economy.
The Minister however stated that the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Pontifical Council for Culture of the Vatican City on the ASSUMTA Science centre in Owerri the Imo state capital.
In his remark, the Executive Governor of Imo State, Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha, who was represented at the event by the Chairman, Mbaitoli Local Government Area, Honorable Chris Nwike thanked the gesture done to his people by the Federal Government and promised to collaborate and ensure speedy completion of the project. He also called on the people of the community to see it as an opportunity not only for them but for the future generation yet unborn.
In his response, the President General of Ofekata Autonomous Community, Chief Alexandra Iwuore thanked the federal Government for its commitment to ensuring that the project is realized and pledged the co- operation of his community to achieve the laudable objectives of the project.
Among dignitaries that graced the occasion include the Catholic Archbishop of Owerri Catholic Diocese, His Grace, Archbishop Anthony Obinna.