The Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu on Tuesday inaugurated the Technology Orientation Centre (TOC) built by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in Abuja.
During the inauguration, Onu said that science and technology is the key that will enable Nigerians to become the true masters of their own destinies.
He said that “no country has ever become truly great without science and technology”.
He said the building of the centre showed that science, technology and innovation could drive Nigeria’s search for a new beginning.
“It shows that when challenged, Nigerians can break new frontiers and create new opportunities that will move Nigeria away from a resource-based to a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy,” he said.
“I believe that if we pay greater attention to innovation and vigorously pursue the conversion of research findings into viable goods and services, we can recreate the middle class, strengthen the Naira and secure a better future for ourselves and generations yet unborn,” he said.
According to the minister, the centre would help the entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators gain greater access to the necessary processes that would fast track the commercialisation of inventions using indigenous technologies.
“This will help create jobs, create wealth, reduce poverty and stimulate growth in the economy.
“This will enable us develop the skilled human resources that will stimulate research and development as well as drive the new National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap (2017 to 2030) necessary to help diversify the Nigerian economy for sustainable growth,” he added.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said that the centre, which was conceived in 2013, was built at with over N354 million.
According to him, the TOC houses 700 collapsible seat capacity multipurpose auditorium, multimedia facility, exhibition hall, virtual reality workstation, offices, car park, among others.