By; ISAAC ODEH, Kaduna.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has commended the members of the Nigerian Armed Forces in bringing the insurgency in the North East under effective control.
He gave the commendation during the 45th convocation ceremony of the Air Force Institute of Technology (AFIT) Kaduna.
Onu said the sad situation that the Nigeria was confronted with at the peak of the insurgency in the North East when the country could not buy weapons even with cash at hand was very embarrassing and that such a situation should not be allowed to continue.
He said a resource rich nation like Nigeria must secure herself and every effort should be made to reduce the importation of military hardware into the country stressing that the country’s aim should be to work very hard so that one day the country will be in a position to manufacture locally made goods.
The Minister also said that President Muhammadu Buhari is working hard to fulfill his promises to the nation and Nigeria is gradually moving from a resource based economy to a knowledge based innovation driven economy saying that Nigeria can no longer continue to import virtually everything it needs.
“We cannot continue to be the consumers of the things we need. The time has come for us to produce locally many of the things we need. We must produce enough not only to meet our needs but also to export the surplus to other countries. This will assist us in job and wealth creation as well as poverty reduction. We must start looking inwards. We need to rely on the things we produce at home” he said.
Earlier, the Commandant of the Air Force Institute, Air Commodore M. A. Soladoye said the Curriculum of the institution was upgraded in 2004 to meet the requirement for the award of National Diploma, and that the then Technical Training Group had transformed to the present Air Force Institute of Technology Kaduna.
He added that the Institution has over the years grown in status to become the leading Institution and Centre of Excellence for Aerospace Aircraft Engineering in Nigeria and the West African sub-region.