Abuja, July 24, 2019(NAN) Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, a ministerial nominee from Ebonyi, says Nigeria has made giant strides in science and technology innovation development in the last four years of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Onu said this on Wednesday in Abuja while responding to questions from senators at the ongoing screening of ministerial nominees by the Senate.
He said that the Ministry of Science and Technology in the last four years had been able to increase awareness of Nigerians on the importance of technology to nation building.
He said that the Federal Government was moving the economy from a commodity based economy to a science based knowledge economy.
Onu said this had resulted in the increase of patent rights from 16 in 2015 to 50 in 2018.
Onu also said thaat the ministry under his watch promoted commercialisation of research in the country.
He said thatvthe ministry, via the support of the Federal Government had championed the Executive Order No 5 designed to transform Nigeria into a science and technology based country in the future.
Onu listed some of the archievements of the ministry to also include development of a drug in the natural medicine designed to test women who had breast cancer.
He said that an agency of the ministry had developed the cure for epilepsy, noting that the drug was undergoing certification.
Onu, therefore, advocated the inculcation of science and technology based knowledge to the Nigerian children via indigenous languages.
He said that this would increase their interest in science and technology.
The Senate in its tradition of according privilege to nominees who had served in the legislature also excused Rotimi Amaechi, a nominee from Rivers, and Sen. Adeleke Mamowora from Lagos State from taking questions from the senators.
But, the decision to excuse the ministerial nominee from Rivers from being screened generated uuproar.
Sen Danjuma Goje ( APC-Gombe) had raised a point of Order 3 of the Senate Rule, noting that the rule did not provide for a nominee who serve in the State House of Assembly to be excused from taking questions.
The President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad lawan, however, said that the decision, which was an agreement by the Senat, was adopted to also favour persons who served in the states legislators and not just for the benefit of the nominee from Rivers.
Sen Enyinnaya Abaribe, who spoke on behalf of the Rivers PDP caucus, urged the nominee to ensure the development of Rivers and also extend focus on development of rail project in the South-East corridor.
Sen. Abdulahi Abubakar, (APC Kebbi ) also urged the nominee to also focus on the development of the Zamfara and Sokoto rail corridor project if he became the minister of transport.
Other nominees screened were Olamilekan Adegbite from Ogun and Adamu Adamu from Bauchi, among others.(NAN)