Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government has urged the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to accord priority to the development of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to enable the sub-regional body to be more self-reliant, create wealth and provide employment opportunities for its citizens.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, gave the advice when he received the ECOWAS Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Prof Leopoido Amado, who paid him a courtesy visit yesterday in Abuja.
Onu also said that the Ministry is making significant contributions in managing the COVID-19 pandemic by developing affordable testing kits as well as Personal Protection Equipments (PPE’s).
He added: ‘We have developed equipment to help disinfect our public offices, and using reversed engineering to locally produce ventilators while also encouraging researchers on local herbs to manage the COVID-19 pandemic.’
According to the Minister, the efforts to curb the COVID-19 pandemic is yielding positive results and encouraged Nigerian scientists to intensify their research efforts to create lasting solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr Onu told the ECOWAS envoy that the Nigerian Academy of Science has been invited to help verify the efficacy of herbal products submitted by researchers to help manage COVID-19.
He commended the Commissioner, for his contributions to the development of STI in the West-African sub-region.
Earlier, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Education, Science and Culture, Prof. Leopoido Amado said the regional body was committed to the fight against COVID-19.
He said the pandemic has highlighted the importance of Science, Technology and Innovation to the world.
Amado said the purpose of his visit was to intimate the Minister on the adoption of the Cotonou resolution by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers.
He further briefed the Minister on the establishment of the African Forum on Research and Innovation which would bring together experts from the entire sub-region to help develop Science Technology and Innovation (STI).