Nigeria has flagged off two new agencies in the Ministry of Science of Technology geared to impart relevant skills to Nigerian youths through technological innovations.
Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu disclosed this at the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Research and Design Extension Centre of Nigerian Institute of Leather and Science Technology NILEST and the Bio-Resource Development Centre of National Biotechnology Development Agency NABDA in Okwudor local government Area of Imo State, South-east Nigeria.
The Minister described the centre as a regional-bloc project for the South-Eastern people and assured that similar centres would be established in other geo-political zones of the country.
Dr. Onu, who described both agencies as being the pivot of the Ministry, said the centres will assist the people in Agricultural production and boost other economic activities in the State.
“The centre will give all necessary training needed for business growth and will boost Nigeria’s export and ensure less reliance on oil and gas,” he added.
He explained that the centres will help increase job and wealth creation, adding that “if we improve on our productivity we would become more versatile, thus creating more international demand for our products.”
“skills induced by technology are more durable, cost-effective and beneficial to the society” he added
He charged the host community, to ensure proper protection of properties at the centre.
The beneficiaries of the centres, according to Dr. Onu would be encouraged to access credit facilities from the Bank of Industry pending the creation of a Science and Technology bank that would assist scientists, inventors and innovators to access credit at low interest rates.
Earlier, the Acting Director General of NILEST, Dr. Eucharia Oparah, said the NILEST centre will bring the enormous benefits of leather to the South-East region and Nigeria at large.
She appealed to all stakeholders to ensure the success of the project.
Also speaking, the Acting Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency Professor Alex U. Akpa said the Agency’s resource centre will help in protecting the environment and curtailing erosion while improving economically important bio-resources.
The Bio-resource centre, he added, will empower youths and women in skills acquisition and bio-resource wealth creation across the country.