The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made this known during the ministry’s 2018 End of Year Dinner in Abuja.

According to him, the implementation of the national strategy will also help the nation to create about 4.4 million jobs.

He added that “we have initiated a land mark national strategy for competitiveness in raw materials and products’ development in Nigeria.

“It is our intention to ensure national capacity to locally-produced acceptable high-quality raw materials, products and services.

“It is projected that within the first five years of its implementation, our beloved country will save as much as N3.6 trillion from overall imports. This will help us to create about 4.4 million jobs.”

Onu said that the ministry placed emphasis on the important role of enhancing democratic process by making it truly technology-driven.

 He added that the ministry had progressed to an advanced stage on the local production of solar power electronic voting solution with cloud-based collection of election results capability.

Onu noted that solar electronic voting solution would further enhance e-voting and help Nigeria in the conduct of free, fair and credible elections.

He said that the ministry had recorded major breakthrough by successfully deploying genetic engineering technique in production of two varieties of BT Cotton that were high yielding and resistant to devastating attack of boil warms.

 He stated that the technique would help to increase cotton production in the country, as well as reactivate textile industries that used to be the second largest employer of labour in the 1960s and 1970s.

We have successfully formulated Nigeria’s new National Policy on Leather Production. This is the first of its kind in the history of our nation since independence in 1960.

“I am confident that it will fast track sustainable development of leather technology that will help to boost industrialisation and enhance growth in our domestic economy.

“By deploying resources to commercialise research findings, new products and service will be created for the ultimate benefit of our people. This will help to create jobs, reduce extreme poverty and improve the quality of lives of the people.

“It will also help in building strong and resilient domestic economy that is competitive and sustainable.”

Onu added that Presidential Order No. 5 had opened new opportunities for Nigerian professionals to help arrest capital flight, strengthen local capacity and promote local manpower development for the good the nation.

According to him, the ministry successfully formulated “High Nutrient Density Biscuit“ for the

children to complement school feeding programme of the APC-led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“This will further nurture our young ones with adequate nutritional requirements that will enable them to become productive citizens for sustainable development.”

Onu said that the number of patents secured with the assistance of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) this year (2018) had risen to 54 as against six in 2015 when he became the minister.

Mr Bitrus Nabasu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, urged relevant stakeholders to continue their support to the government to ensure various research findings were converted into products and services.

Nabasu observed that there were strong signs that technology could do for Nigeria what it had done for Chine, South Korea, India and the U.S., among others.

“I will like to appreciate the minister for his effort to reposition the FMST as the bedrock of economic growth in the nation,” Nabasu added.