From Charity Nwakaudu, Abuja
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has said that more revenue is now flowing into the country’s treasury from non-oil and gas exports.
He stated this at the Nigerian Society of Chemical Engineers (NSCHE) 51st annual international conference and general meeting, with the theme «Chemical Engineering and the Changing World,» held in Lagos.
Osinbajo who spoke through the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, highlighted that the present administration is preparing Nigeria to not only meet these challenges posed by the changing world but also, to help Nigeria occupy her rightful place in the comity of nations.
“Many countries in different continents are now preparing themselves to depend less on fossil fuels. Electric cars are found on roads and streets of many of the technologically- developed countries of the world. This has sent a clear signal and a strong message that fossil fuels will not be as important as they are in the years to come. Our nation must prepare for a future where crude oil, which has for long been our major source of revenue will no longer occupy its prominent position in the economies of many nations,” Osinbajo said.
He used the occasion to further advise the Nigerian manufacturing stakeholders to produce almost everything that is needed in the country, noting that this would lead to less imports, a stronger Naira and a stronger economy.
Osinbajo told the chemical engineers, whom he described as “process engineers” to be at the centre for a self-reliant Nigeria.
“As process engineers, you will add value to our numerous raw materials converting them into products. The nation needs you to achieve food security, produce enough water for human consumption, agriculture and industry, provide shelter for our people, clothe both the old and the young, solve our energy and transportation problems, provide drugs and medical equipment for our health care, and provide necessary equipment to help us secure our nation.”
The vice president urged the chemical engineers to continuously revise their academic curriculum, so as to train and prepare chemical engineers for the next decade and indeed the next century. This, he added, is the best way to ensure that Nigeria fights and defeats extreme poverty.