We want more actions, results not good speeches – Senate committee tells minister
BY OBUTE JAMES
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onuh has said that full implementation of Executive Order 5 will make Nigeria to be ahead of Malesia, China and several other nations in the nearest future.
Speaking when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Science and Technology for the 2020 Budget Defence of the ministry, Onuh said his ministry plays a critical role in achieving the desired goal of growth and development of the nation in view of the current government promises.
President Muhammadu Buhari on February 5, 2019 in Abuja, signed Executive Order 5 to improve local content in public procurement with science, engineering and technology components. The Executive Order is expected to promote the application of science, technology and innovation towards achieving the nation’s development goals across all sectors of the economy.
The President ordered that all “procuring authorities shall give preference to Nigerian companies and firms in the award of contracts, in line with the Public Procurement Act 2007.”
The Executive Order also prohibits the Ministry of Interior from issuing visas to foreign nationals whose skills are readily available in Nigeria.
The President in addition, directed Ministries, Departments and Agencies to engage indigenous professionals in the planning, design and execution of national security projects. He however, noted that where expertise is lacking, procuring entities will give preference to foreign companies and firms with a demonstrable and verifiable plan for indigenous development prior to the award of such contracts.”
Answering questions from journalists on what he has done to implement the Executive Order 5, Onuh said a lot of ground work has been done to encourage Nigerians.
He also said the ministry is collaborating with the industralists and universities to achieve the desired results.
Earlier, while speaking to the committee on the status of Nigerian satellites, Onuh said the country has four satellites and one of them launched in 8 years ago is due for relaunching.
According to him, the life span of the satellite is 8 years but it is being examined every year.
He said based on the recent check on the satellite, it was observed that it can still last up to 3 years.
Meanwhile, the Senate Committee on Science and Technology Chaired by Senator Ekwunife Uche Lilian has tasked the minister and all the agencies under his supervision to do all within it power to bring about the desired science and technological advancement.
The lawmakers maintained that the major difference between developing and developed nations is the level of their size and technology.
The lawmakers added that they are tired of hearing good speeches and what they want now is actions and good results.
The committee said effective and efficient utilization of the scarce resources will go along way in addressing some of the challenging issues in the sector.