The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has commended The Sun for its robust and developmental journalism, saying the newspaper brings information closer to the people.
He said The Sun’s professional treatment of stories has endeared it to many, expressing delight that a newspaper with such reputation and history of reporting facts has chosen him as winner of Outstanding Performance in Government award.
Onu stated this when the Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, led a team to present to him notification letter for the Outstanding Performance in Government Award for 2019.
Onu and 27 other award winners will be showcased at The Sun Awards Lockdown Edition celebration coming up before the end of the year.
The minister said The Sun has done well in working for the socio-economic development of Nigeria.
He said his ministry was committed to providing a direction and good partnership with government towards the socio-economic development of the country.
The minister thanked The Sun for its contributions to the development of the country, adding that even though The Sun is relatively young, younger than other media organisation, it has made great marks.
He said: “You have made your mark; you have done so well; you have helped to bring information closer to our people and we are very happy, exceptionally happy, that you have rendered very important service, extremely important service, in making sure that information is made available to all parts of this country.
“I am also happy that you have selected me for the Outstanding Performance in Government Award in our country. Thank you so much for this honour, and I want to assure you that we will continue to do our best to ensure that we play the role expected of us in making sure that our country becomes the great nation that she is destined to become.”
Onu further declared that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology was playing an important role in redirecting the economy of the country, something, he added, that should have been done since independence in 1960.
He said: “We want to help ensure that our economy will no longer depend entirely on commodities, but on knowledge. That is, innovation-driven. We have tried to put a number of policies in place to help us achieve that goal.”
The minister stated that one of the important policies of government to achieve economic independence of the country was the Executive Order 5, which, he said, is a revolutionary document that will help Nigeria to become truly self-reliant.
“We can’t continue importing things that we can produce locally. What is happening in the world today is showing clearly that we need to rely more on ourselves, and the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology is leading the way,” he said.
Earlier, The Sun’s managing director congratulated Onu on the Young Nigerian Scientists competion, started at his instance, which, he said, would make Nigerian youths focus on science and technology, knowing that the future lies there.
The managing director said Onu has, through the competition, challenged Nigerian youths to make innovations and discoveries that will put the country on the global mark.
Ukeh enumerated what the minister had done to merit The Sun Outstanding Performance in Government award, emphasising: “During your days as governor of old Abia State, you stood out as an uncompromising leader and change agent. Your decision to introduce the use of computers in schools then and also the creation of a Technology Village make you stand tall as one who saw tomorrow.
“We note that, in the five years you have been Minister of Science and Technology, you have steadily focused on innovation and technology incubation. Indeed, you have shown leadership, making the ministry and parastatals under it to remain focused on their core mandates of driving the technological advancement of Nigeria. You pushed for the establishment of technology incubation centres to train and empower new entrepreneurs in Nigeria, as well as pushed for the constant review of science and technology policy of the country to reflect changing trends in the world.”
The MD said, as an advocate of local content in the technological development of Nigeria, Onu “has driven a new understanding and appreciation of local technology in solving problems of food security, poverty, and housing deficiency, among many others.”
He added that the minister remained “an inspiration to many as the integrity you bring to public administration inspires many to serve a dedicated and untainted service to their fatherland.”
Other winners of The Sun Awards are: Governor Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom State and Governor Bello Mohammed of Zamfara State (Man of the Year); Governor Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State (Governor of the Year); Governor Samuel Ortom (Courage in Leadership); and Governor Kayode Fayemi (Political Icon of the Year).
Others are wife of Anambra State governor, Dr. (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano (Most Supportive First Lady); Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, MD, Sterling Bank (Banker of the Year); Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, DG, National Council of Arts and Culture and Hadiza Bala-Usman, MD, Nigerian Ports Authority (Public Service); Mallison Ukatu, CEO, Nipso Porcelain and Nkechi Obi, chairman, Techno Oil (Industrialist of the Year); Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, chairman, United Nigeria Airlines and Dome Entertainment, and Asiwaju AK Onawofokan, chairman, Coleman Wire & Cables (Entrepreneur of the Year) and Chief Fabian Nwaorah, chairman of EFAB Properties Limited.
Also the following are winners: Iconic actresses, Patience Ozokwor and Sola Sobowale (Nollywood Personality of the Year); Alhaji Ahmadu Musa Kida, president, Nigerian Basketball Federation and Chief Anyansi Agwu, chairman, Enyimba Football Club (Sports Personality of the Year); Bro. Felix Obuah, chairman of Krisdera Hotels & Resort and founder, Go Round Football Club, and Barr. (Chief) Jackson Agbai Abbah, chairman, Dover Hotels (Hospitality Person of the Year); star musician, Burna Boy (Creative Person) and Ekene Iwuoha (Nigerian Hero).
For Lifetime Achievement award, the following are winners: Mallam Mamman Daura, Prince Arthur Eze and Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.