Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology says the fifth edition of the Technology and Innovation Expo 2021, bringing science, technology and innovation to Nigeria, will hold from March 15 to March 19.
Onu made the disclosure during a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said that the expo, which is an annual event, brings researchers, inventors, innovators and inventors together with the aim of converting ideas into products and services.
“The technology and innovation expo is a major instrument for the commercialisation of research findings into products that are needed both at home and abroad,” he said.
The minister noted that technology and innovation expo performed a very important function for the nation in the area of diversification of Nigeria’s economy.
He stressed that the expo was very helpful in making sure that the enormous natural resources of the nation were exploited for nation building.
“Nigeria is endowed with mineral resources which, if well harnessed, would be of great economic benefits to the nation.
“There is no state in the country that is without mineral resources, God in His infinite mercy has blessed Nigeria with good weather conditions, fertile soil and all year long sunshine,’’Onu said.
The Minister emphasised that the expo was not a trade fair where people would come to buy and sell, but rather a centre of intense activity for the conversion of ideas into products and services.
He said that a decision was taken to rotate the venue of the expo from one geo-political zone to another.
Due to changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event was scheduled to take place in Abuja as it was done in 2020.
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He mentioned that the activities that should take place during the 2021 expo include opening ceremony, technical session as well as a platform for investors, inventors and innovators to interact.
“At the opening ceremony, there will be a presentation of the three best young scientists of Nigeria, 2021, to President Muhammadu Buhari for a handshake.
“President Buhari annually grants scholarship to these students to study any science course of their choice in any of our universities from first degree to doctorate level.
“There will be a presentation of awards to outstanding research and development products at the closing ceremony on Friday, March 19,’’ Onu said.
He said that his ministry was using the expo as well as many other programmes and policies to ensure that Nigeria’s economy was no longer entirely dependent on commodities, but knowledge-based and innovation-driven.
According to the minister, this has become very important in the efforts of the country to feed itself, build new infrastructure, establish new factories and create job opportunities.
“We are convinced that with hard work and determination, we will achieve an economy that is knowledge-based and innovation-driven, that will make us more productive and competitive,’’ Onu said.