03 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has disclosed that plans are underway to establish a chemical equipment and machinery development institute in Port Harcourt, as part of the process to build a knowledge based economy that will sustain the country.
Onu said that the over reliance on oil and gas has made it difficult for the country’s economy to grow in view of the emerging realities.
The Minister made the disclosure during a courtesy visit to the Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, at Government House, Port Harcourt recently, noted that Rivers state plays a very important role in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy.
According to him, “The decision has been made to make Nigeria an innovation driven economy. We are determined to work hard to ensure this succeeds.
“If there is a problem with oil, we will still strive. For us to do this, we need to build capacity, look inwards and use our nation’s resources in ways that will improve our economy”, he stated.
“We want the institute to be a centre of excellence in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy. The results of the research will be available to the private sector. We will be in a position to grow our economy”, he said.
For his part, Rivers State governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated that investments in science research institutions will help in reviving the country’s economy.
Wike who noted that a diversified economy would create employment opportunities for the people, stressed the need to sustain the development of technology for the growth of the country.
He said: “I urge that we begin to use research reports from science institutes to attain the desired growth. The development of relevant machinery and equipment will help create jobs locally and enhance the economy.”
The governor commended the minister of Science and Technology for the plans to establish the chemical equipment institute in Port Harcourt.
He said that the minister has exhibited maturity by bringing the project to Rivers State, pointing out that other ministers would have been influenced by political considerations.
The governor directed the administrator of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority to liaise with the Ministry of Science and Technology for allocation of land for the institute.