Dr Ogbonaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, says the unity of Nigeria is not negotiable, though the nation is facing some development and security challenges.
Onu, who spoke on Sunday night in Abuja at a dinner organised in his honour by Ebonyi Elders’ Council, said he was committed to the unity of the nation.
“I am committed to the unity of our country. If Nigeria did not exist; Africa would have looked for a Nigeria.
“Nigeria is not just important for Africa, but it is important for every black man and black woman all over the world.
“There is a very important job that Nigeria will do for black people,’’ Onu said.
The minister called for concerted effort to solve the problems facing the nation in order for all Nigerians to be happy as a member of one country.
On the economy, Onu stressed the need to diversify it to create and distribute wealth to the people.
“Today the price of crude oil has fallen drastically. It happened at a time that our economy is not diversified.
“We have seen distresses in the capital market; the manufacturers, all these places, even the currency. We have seen how much money the Central Bank had to pull out from our reserves to ensure that our currency is stable.
“Science and technology can help Nigeria to diversify our economy. `Science and technology can help Nigeria to fight and reduce drastically poverty in our nation.
“Science and technology can help Nigeria create wealth; because we need to create wealth before we distribute wealth. You cannot distribute what you don’t have,’’ he said.
He promised to lead the ministry to play its role to contribute meaningfully to national development.
Earlier, Chairman, Ebonyi Elders’ Council, Abuja, Chief Nicholas Oyo urged the minister to remain a worthy ambassador of the state.
Oyo also advised him to use his position to reduce poverty in the country by encouraging development of small businesses.
He said this would to a large extent positively affect the Ebonyi youths by helping to remove them from street trading. (NAN)