Self-reliance, use of research findings will help economy

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that self-reliance and commercialisation of research findings will help grow Nigeria’s economy.

Onu said this at the 23rd Anniversary and Role Model Awards organised by Hallmark of Labour Foundation (HLF), on Sunday in Lagos.

According to the Minister, the nation needs to start producing things currently being imported and also find ways to commercialise findings from research institutes and universities.

“We are working really hard at the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to redirect our economy from being reliant solely on commodities to knowledge and innovations.

“We need to commercialise them, that is how our micro SMEs can grow; the micro will grow to become small and the small will grow to become medium while the medium will grow to be large.

“There is no known multinational corporation today that didn’t start small,” he said.

Speaking on the event, Onu commended the Foundation for its efforts to tell the world the story of Nigerians with great achievements and integrity.

“I’m happy this is happening in our country because we want to rediscover many of the values that really helped us in the past.

“Once you remove opaqueness and transparency, people will do the right things, there will be rule of law, people will become self reliant. That’s what we need to grow our economy and do all the things that we want for our nation,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Minister received the HLF Life-time Achievement Award for Excellence in Leadership and Good Governance.

Other awardees are: Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, Justice Clara Ogunbiyi, Justice Banji Orilonise, Prof. Anya O. Anya, Prof. Oladele Kale, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, Prof. Nimi Briggs, Prof. Idris Mohammed, Mrs Ibukun Awosika and Mr John Momoh.

Also, Human Rights Lawyer, Mr Femi Falana commended HLF for its choice of awardees, whom he referred to as men and women of achievement and integrity.

He, however tasked the organisation to identify young men and women, who can stand as role models, so they can be a challenge to their generation.

Falana said: “In the midst of the insanity around us, there are young men and women who are doing the country proud; if we can identify them, they’re certainly going to be more relevant in remodelling the youths.

“I will prefer that we identify those that have grown up with them and are members of their own generation, being singled out for honour, so that they can know that people of their generation can also be recognised for their contributions to the society.”

The Executive Secretary of HLF, Mrs Patricia Otuedon-Arawore said the Foundation set out to change the mindset and awaken the spirit of nationalism and hardworking in Nigerians.

Otuedon-Arawore also said that the Organisation was aimed at, “identifying Nigerians and people of the Black Race, who have achieved success through hard work, honesty and integrity in their fields of endeavour.”

She pledged the Organisation’s support to continue to provide disadvantaged and best performing schools with modern science laboratories and equipment that will help promote healthy competition.