By Ikechukwu Odu, Nsukka
Science and Technology Minister Ogbonnaya Onu said on Wednesday that Nigeria has to switch to a knowledge-based economy to reduce the unemployment rate in the country.
The minister who described the high unemployment rate in the country as “unacceptable and alarming” said that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has been working for the past five years to change the economy from a commodity-driven economy to one. knowledge-based. .
He made the disclosure at the University of Nigeria, UNN, Nsukka when his ministry toured the facilities of the 500KVA solid fuel gasification plant manufactured locally by the Laboratory of Industrial Electronics, Power Devices and New Energy Systems, LIEPNES , UNN.
He also said that it has become necessary to add value to the resources we have in the country by using them to satisfy our local needs instead of depending on imported goods.
While assuring the UNN research team led by Prof. Emenike C. Ejiogu, from the Department of Electrical Engineering, the support of his Ministry in advancing innovation in power generation, he also said “I congratulate the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN for this important achievement. This innovation needs to be incorporated into the school curriculum. This will enrich the teaching.
In addition, I encourage the establishment of multidisciplinary teams of students to focus on generating electricity for off-grid and underserved locations in the country. This will attract many young people as entrepreneurs in the energy sector. I urge the University to ensure that the immediate surrounding communities feel the benefits of this innovation.
“The Ministry of Science and Technology is willing to support this research and innovation. It has the great potential to help us eliminate garbage dumps in towns and cities of our beloved country. This will help create jobs and wealth, generate electricity to fuel our industrialization drive, and help us clean up our towns and cities to protect and preserve our environment.
Earlier in his welcoming address, UNN Vice Chancellor Professor Arizechukwu Igwe, while thanking the minister for finding time to inspect the facilities, said that the progress of research at the University has given the institution hope of exiting of a heavy financial burden. generally incurred by the University of the energy sectors.
While he said that the UNN normally incurred an electricity bill of N70-80 million per month, he added that the institution is carrying out other investigations aimed at solving the local needs of the people.
The CV also commissioned researchers from all learning institutions to channel their energy into finding solutions to the myriad challenges facing our societies using our indigenous resources.