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Nigeria saved N5.03trn in import reduction – Minister

Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), says Nigeria has recorded tremendous breakthrough in import reduction by cumulatively saving N5.03 trillion between 2017 and 2020.

The minister disclosed this at the closing ceremony of the 2022 STI Expo in Abuja, on Friday.

Onu said the figure was derived from the data generated by the United Nations Harmonised System Code and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

He said, due to advancement in STI, the nation had become a home for start-ups, ”as technology had been transferred to many of the nation’s micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises.”

Onu said, ”in the past six years, the country had made significant breakthrough in providing remedy to major diseases in form of drugs and medicine derived from our indigenous natural ingredients.”

He added that the country had made much progress in the development of new drugs, at different levels of certification, including clinical trials.

In the areas of agriculture and food security, Onu said that the nation’s efforts are highly commendable.

He added, ”through research and innovation, efforts are ongoing to provide food security, as well as agro-raw materials for industries.”

The minister said that Nigerian youths have been encouraged to actively participate in the STI sub-sector through studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

On gender balance and sensitivity, he said, “we embarked on gender-sensitive programmes to make STI inclusive.

”This is to improve the participation of girls and women in scientific research and innovation activities.”

Earlier, the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, said STI had been helpful in the production of solar panels to provide electricity to rural primary healthcare centres.

Ehanire said, ”inter-ministerial cooperation is needed to achieve meaningful breakthrough in the delivery of healthcare services to Nigerians.”

Also speaking, Prof. Alpha Tejan, Sierra Leonean Minister of Higher Education, expressed appreciation to Nigeria for helping to bring back peace to his country.

Highlight of the closing ceremony was the presentation of different awards to deserving winners during the expo.


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