From Yakubu Mustapha, Minna
Niger state Governor, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu has expressed his support for the plan by the federal government to ban the importation of some food items especially rice saying the policy will accelerate the economic development of the country.
Aliyu made this known in Minna yesterday when he declared opened the 13th National Council on Science and Technology with the theme ‘Science Technology and Innovation policy in Nigeria Prospects : and Challenges in its Implementation at the grassroots”.
The Governor said the era when raw materials are taken away to the other countries of the world ‘refined, processed and brought back to the country’ and sold at exorbitant rates should be over stressing that the ban will also galvanize the technological development of the country. “We have been a consuming nation whatever we have is taken away refined processed and brought back to Nigeria; I support the plan by the federal government to ban the importation of some food items”.
Aliyu emphasized the need for the country to lay more emphasis on science and technology which is the only way for the country to develop at a faster rate adding that government should also pay
attention to all institutions that will help the country to move forward.
He stated that it was by focusing on science and technology that Nigeria can lead Africa and become the true giant of Africa. Commenting on the challenges facing the country Governor Aliyu described them as ‘temporary’ as the country will soon come out of them stronger and ready to lead Africa but pleaded with the people to lend their supports to the government to achieve a stable polity.
He described those causing disaffection among the Nigerian people as enemies of the country and that no one should harbor such people for the country to make the required progress. Speaking at the opening ceremony the Supervising Minister for Science and Technology DR Omobola Johnson announced that the Science and Technology Innovation policy introduced in 2012 is being gradually taken to the grassroots of the society under the scheme tagged Ward Based Cluster Project WBCP.
According to her the programme will provide the platform for demonstration and further deployment of requisite technologies for value addition and resultant transformation of resource endowment of each ward into useful products and services. Dr Johnson announced that the Ministry has decided to disseminate the policy to various stakeholders through extensive media campaign to sensitize the populace and create awareness and also hold regular dialogue with stakeholders.
The Council meeting is expected to end today Friday.