By Sylvester Thompson
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has urged young Nigerians to contribute to nation building by producing some of Nigeria’s imported products.
Onu made the call on Monday in Abuja at the unveiling and demonstration of a Made-in-Nigeria car invented by 30-year-old Auwal Hassan from Bauchi State.
He said the young people remained the treasure of the nation, constituting about 60 per cent of the entire population, urging them to take advantage of science and technology.
“We want to use this opportunity to appeal to all our young people all over the country, because there are so many things that we import into the country now.
“So every young person should be looking at all these things and find out how they can be produced locally,” the minister said.
According to him, Nigeria will benefit more if many of the products are made and used locally.
He described Nigeria as a large market, and the ability to satisfy the market would lead to exportation into 54 other African countries.
“Science and Technology holds the key to the greatness of Nigeria. No other key because using science and technology will solve virtually every other problems, whether food security or housing,” he said.
He said his ministry was ready to encourage and assist Nigerians with genuine intentions of contributing to nation building.
“As soon as we get evidence that there is any person in the country who has made progress, you don’t need to do everything, we are ready to assist,” he said.
The minister commended Mr Hassan the inventor of the Made-in-Nigeria vehicle over his ingenuity, telling him his invention was a product of investigation.
“We have seen evidence of your invention and from the technical analysis we have received, at least the chassis is completely your own, the body is also yours and some parts, so that’s important.
“The innovation is bringing in other parts and fitting them together. Though you did not pay attention to the safety, perhaps because resources may not have been available to you,” Onu said.
The minister directed that the inventor should be included in the grant to be paid to beneficiaries either in 2021 or 2022.
He said the money would assist him in research, adding that the National Agency of Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) would also assist the inventor in the technical aspect and design.
“What is really important is what NASENI will help you do and you will be in a position to further your research and developmental work to have a better product,” he said.
Earlier, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, Director-General of NASENI had read out the technical composition of the unveiled vehicle.
The inventor also said the car was not his only project, that since 2018 he had been trying to build ultra high helicopter, but the materials were expensive. (NAN)