The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) on Monday said it was ready to organise a science competition that would identify and celebrate the best young Nigerian scientists.
The FMST Minister, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, made this known during the official commissioning of the Abuja Office of the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (NISLT).
“The ministry will play an important role in helping to promote science and technology culture among our young people.
“By organising scientific competitions our young people will benefit tremendously from a new scientific thinking that is needed to increase the awareness of our people for the role of science and technology in nation building.
“FMST will organise a science competition that will identify and celebration the best among young scientists from all the 774 Local Government Areas in the country, ‘’ he said.
According to him, the NISLT building will serve as a reference centre for scientific equipment needs assessment as well as certification of laboratories for analysis and training.
Onu said that he was deeply concerned about the need to diversify national economy, pointing out that the problems facing the nation since independence had been essentially a mono-product economy.
“The fragility of our economy had been exposed with attendant consequences of high rate of high unemployment and undue pressure on our economy.
“Nigeria must rise up and employ science and technology as the suitable instrument to help us diversify and strengthen our economy.
“I am happy that President Muhammadu Buhari is committed to using Science and Technology to diversify our economy,“ he said.
Earlier, the FMST Permanent Secretary, Mrs Habiba Lawal stressed that the NISLT would be used by Nigeria scientists and technologies for further greatness of the nation.
“Today’s event started in 2003 when the Act formally establishing the institute was enacted by the National Assembly.
“This was after a period of about 30 years of struggle to have an indigenous regulatory professional body of science laboratory technologies,’’ she added.
The NISLT Director-General, Mr Ighodalo Ijagbone, commended the entire management team of the ministry on commissioning of the first office building in the premises.
“The next major stage is to put in place appropriate infrastructure to provide the enabling space in carrying out the statutory duties and function as assigned to the institute by the Act,“ he said. (NAN)