By Frank Momoh
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, on Monday pledged the Ministry’s assistance to Taraba State in resuscitating the biotechnology facilities destroyed in Jalingo, by rioters in the wake of the ENDSARS protest in 2019.
Onu, made the disclosure while hosting the Governor of Taraba State, Arc. Dickson Darius Ishaku, who came to solicit for the support of the Minister in revamping the damaged infrastructural facilities and the deployment of STI to lift the state out of poverty.
While pledging Federal Government’s assistance, Onu, said: “We are happy over the relatively peaceful atmosphere in Taraba State, because without peace, nothing can be achieved.
“I assure you that we will work very closely with the state to make sure that we deploy STI in helping the state attain its development trajectory.
“We feel bad over what happened during the ENDARS protest especially with the destructive consequences on our facilities in the state.”
The Ministry, Onu, added will restore whatever was destroyed or carted away or damaged in the course of that protest.
Onu, acknowledged that it is however, imperative that the states collaborate with the federal government in the pursuit in improving the living conditions of Nigerians irrespective of where they come from.
The Minister reiterated that STI is the way to go, stressing that the Ministry is ramping all efforts in making sure that the Nigerian economy will no longer depend entirely on commodities.
According to him, developed economies are now knowledge based and driven by STI.
He said Nigeria is lucky to have been blessed with enormous human and natural resources, however the brain, he said must be used to harness the resources for local production which will lead to creation of jobs and wealth.
The Minister, said: “We want to create jobs for Nigerians and make sure that our economy grows stronger, make sure that the economy becomes stronger and diversified.
According to him, the Ministry has done so much to truly make Nigeria great, adding that attaining greatness comes with the application of STI.
“A nation can be rich in resources and not great, and for a nation to be great you must have the capacity to be self-reliant to able to do so many things including security which Nigeria is gradually achieving.” He said.
In a remark, Governor Ishaku, commended the Minister for the enormous work that he is doing through the ministry across the country.
On the visit, he said: “My visit here today is centred on what the Federal Ministy of Science, Technology and Innovation (FMSTI) is doing in Taraba State. The ministry has been doing so well using biotechnology facilities to drive farming until the ENDSARS protest where the rioters descended on that project, brought down everything, carted away so many things and rendered the place virtually useless.
“The ministry has been helping and assisting the state in several ways especially for the provision of machines and working tools for both the rice and fish farmers, which has helped in improved standard of living.
According to federal government through the ministry has been assisting Taraba farmers, using the machines and technology situated in Jalingo.
“I’m here to plead with the Minister to see how he can help us resuscitate that biotechnology and the other projects that the ministry is doing in the state.”
Ishaku, said the geographical advantage of the state along the River Benue is a booster to its 3000 rice farmers involved in both the wet and dry farming
While harping on synergy, he said assistance from the ministry will go a long way in assisting Taraba people and the country at large, adding that this is the main reason he is at the Ministry’s headquarters.
“We pray and hope that very soon we will hear a sweet sound from the ministry that will make us jump for joy by the ministry coming back to Taraba State.” He added.