Business Hilights
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Never again’ll Nigeria employ foreign experts for jobs Nigerians can do—Onu

…As FG’s Executive Order No. 5 gets underway

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the spirit of Executive Order No. 5 will drive the nation’s quest to self reliance in industrial productivity ahead of ending excessive importation of finished products and even expatriates.

Addressing senior media executives after meeting with manufacturing stakeholders on how to drive the Order 5 at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), in Lagos, he observed that the “implementation of the Executive Order, will create wealth, reduce poverty, and provide employment for our teaming youths.”

Business Hilights recalls that President Muhammadu Buhari had in early February while signing the Order 5, averred that “Once this Executive Order is fully implemented, Nigeria will never be the same again.”

The minister who spoke on high spirit, noted vowed that “With the effective implementation of Executive Order 5, the rise of Nigeria to greatness and the happiness of Nigerians will be guaranteed.”

Continuing, he stressed that “Never again will Nigeria continue to import from other countries, many of her needs. Never again will Nigeria continue to employ foreign experts, to do work that Nigerians can do. Never again will Nigeria continue to use foreign companies and firms to execute important projects, without having Nigerians to understudy them. Never again will Nigeria not be able to feed herself.

“Never again will Nigeria continue to export crude oil and import refined petroleum products. Never again will Nigeria continue to export wood, only to import toothpicks. Never again will Nigeria with cash in her hands, look for essential equipment for her military, yet not having a single country willing to sell.

In what sounded like a prophetic outpouring of a firebrand pastor, Dr. Onu averred that “From now on, Nigeria will be self-reliant, producing locally many of the things she needs and exporting the excess to other countries. From now on, Nigeria will be able to add value, by using science, technology and innovation to convert her huge and abundant resources to products and services needed at home thereby creating more wealth, more jobs and reducing poverty.

“From now on, Nigeria will solve the problem of removing the missing link in her search for greatness, by effectively utilising science, technology and innovation in the important task of nation-building.”

According to him, if implementation of the Order is fast tracked as planned, the economy will take a turn for the better in the next 10 to 20 years, when “Nigerian companies and firms will be competing with the very best in other parts of the world for projects and contracts in international tenders.”

Earlier in his welcome address, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of FIIRO, Prof. (Mrs) Gloria Elemo, host of the conference, said Executive Order 5 will drive commercialisation of research findings as the centre continues to deliver tailored technology to small firms from continuous research and development programmes at FIRO.