THE Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, says the Federal Government is using science and technology to diversify the Nigerian economy.
Onu said this on Friday during a visit to Bioresources Development Centre, Odi, Bayelsa.
He noted that technology was critical to economic development, adding that government had adopted technology to achieve economic progress.
The minister expressed optimism that the centre would be a catalyst to development of the Niger Delta region; as it had capacity for quick technology transfer to rural dwellers and peasant farmers to increase agricultural yields.
Onu said, “No nation achieves development without science and technology and Nigeria cannot be an exception, the Federal Government has adopted science and technology to achieve economic diversification and progress.
“I am happy with the progress being made at Bioresources Development Centre in Odi and it is going to be a model for other centres across the country to ensure food security.
“The centre is showcasing the results of research and applying it for the benefit of the communities who will benefit by transferring technology to improve on yields and create wealth for the people.”
He noted that the centre had achieved success in grass cutter breeding, snail farming, aquaculture, mushroom technology transfer and plant tissue culture technology, among others.
Earlier, Mr Josiah Habu, who conducted the minister and top officials round various units of the centre, applauded the dedication of staff at the centre.
The minister appealed for special allowances to motivate them for greater productivity.
“The work you see here today is not the sole doing of any one of us in particular but the contributory effort of all staff with the support of the agency and the Ministry.
“We plead that the Honourable Minister considers our plea for a Rural Duty Allowance in order to motivate staff who have left the big cities to come to the rural areas,” Habu said.
The minister was accompanied by Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, Director-General of National Biotechnology Development Agency, who reinforced the request for Rural Duty Allowance for the staff.