Innovation, Science, Technology Remain  Most Veritable Tools To Drive Nation’s Economy – Minister

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By;  SANI ALIYU, Zaria

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology Chief Uche Geoffrey Nnaji has said that innovation, science and technology given their all encompassing nature and multi-sectoral application remain the most veritable tools to drive the government’s economic recovery agenda, in order to place Nigeria on the path to sustainable growth and development in all ramifications.

He stated this while declaring open the 2nd National Conference on Chemical Technology (NCCT 2023) at NARICT, Zaria on Wednesday.

Represented by his Technical Adviser Strategic and Planning, Professor Nnaayelugo Ike-Muonso,  the minister said this kind of platform and interface is required to interrogate issues of sustainable development, noting critically that, a vital index for measuring the industrial development of a nation is inextricably tied to the level of development of its chemical technology subsector.

The minister said following commendable innovative in Research and development programmes,  NARICT clearly demonstrates the inextricable interconnectivity and mutual reinforcement relationship between STI and economic development, which speaks directly to Mr. President’s eight focal points for the country.

According to him, the production of Sodium hypochlorite (Bleach) sodium hydroxide and other valuable çhemicals from salt deposits in the six geopolitical zones, will create SME’s and MSME’s for the development of salt value chain, encourage utilization of indigenous technologies for the production of value added chemicals and reduce importation.

Chief Uche Geoffrey noted that, the production of precipitated calcium carbonate for applications in pharmaceutical and and allied industries, will lead to wealth and job creation, import substitution and also create wider applications in laboratories, food, paints, cable industries, water treatment and ternaries among others.

He charged the innovation, science and technology family to see how they will utilize the opportunity presented at the conference to come out with concrete and actionable outcomes to achieve the performance targets bequeathed on  meeting Mr. President renewed hope/recovery agenda.

In his address, the chairman of the occasion Professor Paul Mamza said NARICT has been characterized by remarkable and exceptional achievements which is unparalleled in the history of the institute.

He said NARICT has maintained the flagship of Chemical Technology research and development in Nigeria over the years through its mandate which has received more global attention under the stewardship of the current Director General.

Prof. Mamza said the theme of the conference, “New Frontiers and Opportunities in Chemical Industry” is apt and timely.

He said it is a well known fact that Nigeria is blessed with the abundance of both human and materials resources, yet we are languishing at the bottom third of all indices of human development Inspite of being amongst the 15 leading oil producing countries and 7 leading countries with natural gas. reserved in the world..

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT)  Professor Jeffrey T. Barminas said the organization for economic cooperation and development projects that the value of the global production of chemical products will reach almost 22 trillion dollars by 2060 in Asia, Africa and Middle East as projected.

Barminas said the growth of this market is driven by factors such as industrialization, technological advancements and demand for innovative materials and solutions across sectors.

He added that it is because the chemical industry products pervade our society and are critical to the quality of life enjoyed globally by the public, hence a thriving and suitable chemical industry is vital to our future as a nation.

The DG said, there are numerous opportunities for Nigeria to explore in the chemical industry market.

He hoped that at the end of the conference deliberations, the outcome will provide a roadmap for policy creation, green chemical technology subsector in order for it to play its rightful role towards industrialization and economic development.

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