Ministerial nominee, Ogbonnaya Onu, on Wednesday said that in terms of development and advancement, Nigeria would have become like present day China in the next 30 years.

The ex-minister of Science and Technology, who President Muhammadu Buhari named in his ministerial nominee list, made the comments while responding to questions during the screening exercise at the Senate.

Ogbonnaya said: “We started something because the economic recovery and growth plan of our country is one that has recognised science, technology, and innovation as being at the center of all economic activities in the country.”

“We had a tremendous responsibility, and working with our colleagues at the federal executive council, we were able to bring into existence a revolutionary executive order number 5.”

“By that executive order, once fully implemented, Nigeria will have an economy that is innovation-driven, and in the next 30 to 50 years, nobody will imagine the level of development in our country. We would just be like China is today in terms of advancement. Those who travel to China 30 years ago know the implications of what I am saying. Definitely, it will take a lot of time.”

“Most countries that are funding science and technology appropriately don’t do that through budgetary allocation. They do extra-budgetary methods.”

“So the national research and innovation fund is an extra-budgetary fund that can help fund research and innovation, not just in the federal ministry of science and technology but throughout the country, in our universities, research institutes, including private-sector research establishments. So definitely, the national research and innovation bill when signed and implemented will be very helpful.”

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