From Magnus Eze, Abuja
Federal Government will soon establish a dedicated bank for the development of science and technology, Minister in charge of the sector, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said.
The minister disclosed this in Abuja when he hosted Motor Mechanics and Technicians Association of Nigeria (MOMTAN) led by its National President, Mr. Sulaiman Oseni.
Onu, who commended members of the association for their contributions to national development over the years, reasoned that the dedicated bank would ease access to credit for the informal sector operators.
“We believe it is important; it will help our people in the informal sector. It will also help us to close technology gaps in the country …
“If you go to a regular bank, they may not have the resources to give you for three to four years for innovation before paying back. They won’t do that because they don’t have that kind of money.
“But, a science and technology development bank will do so. And, we believe it will help us to catalyse the process of technological development of the country.”
The minister assured them of President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to keeping to his campaign promise of creating jobs and growing the economy.
He also challenged MOMTAN members to get involved in research and innovation.
Onu explained that research is not only carried out in the laboratories, stressing that “if, in the process of maintaining a vehicle, you find a way of improving on any of the systems in the car, it is already an innovation and the process is a research.”
Earlier in his remarks, MOMTAN national president expressed sadness that while the National Automotive Policy stipulates that government and her agencies should purchase locally produced automotive vehicles and spare parts, “there is no law in this country compelling them to equally patronise our local mechanics and technicians.”
He called for deliberate collaboration between all tiers of government, MOMTAN, motor companies, manufacturers and dealers to work out enduring solution to maintenance culture; repairs and after sales services.