Ministry develops national policy on nanotechnology, ready for FEC consideration, approval – Nnaji

By Sylvester Thompson

Chief Uche Nnaji, Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, says the ministry has developed a national policy on nanotechnology soon to be presented to the Federal Executive Council for consideration and approval.

The minister said this at the 2023 World Science Day for Peace and Development with the theme: “Building trust in science’’, on Friday in Abuja.

Represented by Prof. Matthew Ike-muonso, his Technical Adviser on Strategy and Programmes, Nnaji expressed optimism that the technology would accelerate national nanotechnology development for economic diversification.

He said contemporary society acknowledged the pivotal role science and technology played in progress and development, hence Nigeria must prioritise science and technology as the bedrock for socioeconomic development.

The minister said the theme of the event underscored the indispensable need to foster trust in scientific endeavours as the base upon which the edifice of scientific progress stood.

“Hence, the need to recognise the relationship between science and societal development.

“Therefore, it is essential to underline the imperative of trust in scientific methodologies, research outcomes and their utilization, as scientific and societal impact rely heavily on the trust it garners,” he said.

He said achieving sustainable progress and societal advancement depended on trust in the scientific processes by ensuring transparency, credibility and ethical practices in every scientific pursuit.

Nnaji recalled that in efforts to build trust in Nigeria’s scientific pursuits, and nurture a culture of encouraging young pupils towards excellent scientific pursuits, the 774 Young Nigerian Scientists Presidential Award was set up.

He also enumerated various works and achievements of the ministry, its agencies and parastatals which included formulation of numerous national policies and programmes.

Earlier, Mr James Sule, Permanent Secretary of the ministry, noted that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), proclaimed the World Science Day for peace and development.

He disclosed that UNESCO mandated the day to be celebrated yearly on every Nov. 10.

Sule, who was represented by Ronald Ukpong, Director of Science and Technology Promotion, said the event provided a platform where citizens were kept abreast of developments in science.

Dr Olagunju Idowu, Secretary General, Nigerian National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM-UNESCO), in his goodwill message, stressed the importance of building trust in science and its numerous benefits.

“Trust in science leads to development, brings solutions to many of world’s challenges, creates accessibility of data for researchers, enhances the freedom and safety of scientists, strengthens science-based policy decisions and other implementations.

“It is also a call to action to end poverty and inequality, protect the planet and ensure that everyone enjoys health, justice and prosperity,’’ he said.

Highlights of the event were presentations, including UNESCO’s, made by its representative, Dr Enang Moma.

Students were also engaged in quiz competitions and project exhibitions, among others.

The ministry awarded cash prize of N1 million to Government Science Secondary School, Pyakassa for taking first position in the quiz competition.(NAN).