The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, says the ministry is set to intensify efforts to develop skill of Nigerian youths to enhance their career potential.
Onu disclosed this on Friday in Abuja during the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) 40th anniversary and launch of NBRRI’s news administrative headquarters and laboratory complex.
The minister said that such effort would fast track national process and self-reliance, as well as facilitate the export of skilled labour to other countries in the nearest future. He added that “I am happy and feel a sense of honour to launch this administrative headquarters and laboratory complex of NBRRI. May this be the beginning of greater things to happen in this institute.
“We will continue to train our young people to acquire skill, and to make considerable contributions to nation building. We should be in a position to export skilled labour to other countries in the nearest future. “We need this in our research to build a knowledge-based economy that will be competitive and sustainable.
“It is sad that Nigerians have for so long continued to bring artisans from outside the country to carry out the finishing of our houses. This is happening at a time when many of our young people are unemployed.”
Onu, who said that the issue constituted serious drain on scarce foreign reserves with dire consequences on the country’s domestic economy, commended NBBRI for establishing Artisan Centre meant to develop indigenous capacity of artisans in the country.
According to him, no country can become a truly great nation without effectively deploying Science, Technology and Innovation (STI). The Director-General of NIBBRI, Prof. Danladi Matawal, maintained that research and development were major pillars in strengthening the deployment of STI .He said that research and development are important instruments that would advance the ultimate objective of being world-class research centre of global repute.
He added that “it is heart-warming that with the establishment of the Artisan Centre, indigenous capacity would be strengthened to enhance the career potential and competence of our youth.
“This edifice stands a benefitting testimony of the resolve of the APC-led administration of President Muhammadu Buahri to strengthen the role of STI as new driver of the nation’s economic diversification process.”