The Federal Government says it is fully committed to reshaping the nation’s economy from a resource-base to a science and technology-based economy by 2030.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, gave the assurance at the South-South Sensitisation to the National Science, Technology and Innovation Roadmap (NSTIR) 2030 in Port Harcourt.
He said that NSTIR, when fully implemented, would enable Nigeria to become a major exporting nation rather than its dependence on importation of raw materials and finished products.
According to him, the Buhari-led administration is fully focused to end the nation’s over-reliance on crude oil and gas as its major exchange earner.
“Recently, we got an information that, between 2010 and 2015, Nigeria imported raw materials and finished products worth over N43 trillion.
“The statistics did not come from us (Ministry) but came from the National Bureau of Statistics and the Nigerian Customs Service, which is quite disturbing.
“This explains why the Naira is growing weaker and weaker; we cannot sustain importation because our population is growing.
“So, if we do not chart a new course, then we will keep importing far more and there will be a point where we cannot pay for it,” he said.
Onu said that Nigeria’s reliance on importation of goods and services had damaged the nation’s economy and led to non-creation of new jobs.
The minister expressed optimism that the policy (on importation) would save the nation at least N3 trillion (10 billion dollars) in the next five years.
“This huge sum, rather than being used to import raw materials and products, would be used to build new roads, schools, hospitals and water and electricity infrastructures
“So, this is what the Buhari led administration is determined to achieve and as such, the ministry is working very hard to give him the support to reverse the trend,” he said.