The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has commissioned the chemistry pavilion of the Assumpta Science centre in Orodo Ofekata in Mbaitoli Local Government Area of Imo State.
Unveiling the project to signal the commissioning, the Minister said the Centre is part of the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding on the ASCO initiative of informal Science Learning in Africa with the Pontifical Council Council for Culture, Vatican City
He said the project shows the uncommon commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria in partnership with the Holy See, Vatican, to advance the frontiers of Science and technology as a conscious effort to move Nigeria away from a resource base to a knowledge based, innovation driven economy,
The Minister noted that never before has there been such a zeal to utilize science, technology and innovation to foster African solidarity, especially among young people who are the leaders of tomorrow.
Onu said the project re-affirms Nigeria’s commitment to Africa as a key component of her foreign policy, especially in the pursuit of sustained African brotherhood, development and solidarity, stressing that the project is not only important for Nigeria but also for Africa.
He expressed confidence that the Center shall become an important instrument through which the challenge of poverty, disease, illiteracy and underdevelopment in Nigeria and other parts of Africa can be fought and defeated.
“Science, technology and innovation can be a tool to strengthen national development, especially at this time when conscious efforts have begun in the direction of fostering sustainable economic diversification. It is envisaged that this Center will advance the frontiers of national rebirth by ensuring that our young people will imbibe the culture of studying science and mathematics early enough in their lives to enable them pursue careers in science related disciplines that will facilitate sustainable national development” he said
He expressed hope that the Center will play a historic role in Nigeria’s march to true greatness.
“As a way to strengthen this goal, it is our intention to give serious consideration to establishing a similar project in all the six geo-political zones of the country.This will help to attract more of our young people to study science and mathematics” Onu said
In his remarks, the President General of Ofekata Orodo Autonomous Community, Chief Alex Iwuorie expressed the appreciation of the community to the Federal Government for its prompt and bold steps to kick off the project. He thanked the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for his personal commitment and diligence to the realization of the project.
He recalled that since the ground breaking ceremony performed by the Minister on the 28th of December, 2016, he has regularly visited Ofekata community for more than four times to monitor the progress of the project and ensured quality timely delivery of the job.
Speaking to newsmen on the commissioning of the project, a Board member of the Federal Institute of Research, Oshodi, Engr. Chuks Ololo said the project is worthwhile and commended the Minster of Science and Technology for the successful completion of the Chemistry department of the Centre.