The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has called on the Nigerian Academy of Science to harness the provision of Executive Order No. 5 for promotion of science, engineering and technology.
Onu made the call at a summit organised by the Nigerian Academy of Science in Abuja on Monday with the theme ” Women in Science and Nigeria’s development.”
He was represented by the Acting Director-General, Nigerian Institute of Leather Science and Technology (NILEST), Eucharia Oparah.
Onu urged the organisers and participants to maximise the essence of executive order No.5 for planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology.
Newsmen reports that President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday February 5, 2018, signed Executive Order 5 into law to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components.
The Executive Order demonstrates the harnessing of domestic talents and the development of indigenous capacity in science and technology.
He said women in science constitute an indispensable force in nation building and could leverage on their academic advancement and resilience to advance the economy through the dividends of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The minister commended the academy for organising the summit, adding that the theme of it was timely, in an age where there was discrimination against women.
”The theme for this year’s summit is also apt and timely, considering the prevailing economic, cultural and political discrimination against women, not only in Nigeria but the world at large.
”It is a good thing today to see many female technocrats of the science and technology family convened here for interaction, cross fertilisation of ideas and exchange of information.
“This will engender a new era of progress in the science, technology and innovation sector of the economy.
He stated that women were intellectually capable because they had made breakthrough in various disciplines, including chemistry, physics, medicine, science and aviation.
”Women are breaking barriers of culture and traditions to embrace science and technology and this was evident few days ago when two women combat pilots were decorated in the Nigerian Navy,” he said.
Onu noted that the ministry had initiated programmes aimed at encouraging young Nigerians, especially the girl-child, to study STEM subjects.
”The Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is embarking on programmes like the young Nigerian Scientist Presidential Award, International Junior Science Olympiad, Science Kits Training to promote the sciences.
”These are ways the ministry is adopting to catch them young to become professionals.”
The minister also urged parents to encourage their children, especially girls wishing to study any discipline in the science and technology field.