Ogbonnaya Onu, the minister of science and technology, says the federal government has plans to send Nigerians to space for scientific exploration.
He made this known during his keynote address delivered at the 2020 national convention of the Izzi Old Students Association held at the faculty of education, Ebonyi State University (EBSU), Ishieke campus.
The minister said the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has strengthened the science and technological sector to play a significant role in diversifying the country’s economy.
He said teachers need to encourage students to develop interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
“It is sad that the students after rendering the school’s anthem started mentioning the professions that they will like to pursue, but not even one mentioned engineering,” he said.
“The principals and teachers should bring people who can enlighten the students on the importance of engineering to nation-building. It will be very sad if in this school we don’t have young people aspiring to be engineers because in Nigeria we have plans to send people to the space.
“Yes, we have that plan; don’t ever think it cannot be done, it may take 20 years, 30 years, but we have that plan and I will be very happy to see somebody from this school to go into space and you cannot do it without science and engineering.”
Onu emphasised the need for science and technology for the purpose of economic development.
He listed China, Japan and Singapore as some of the countries whose economy got developed through science and technology.
“All the mobile phones we are using they come from South Korea, there is no area of technology that they are not involved in,” he said.
“We have also seen what has happened to China, Japan and Singapore, whether small or large, so, you cannot really grow the economy without emphasising science and engineering.”
The minister had earlier said Nigeria will be like China in terms of advancement in 30 years time.
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