The Presidency has said it is worried that most of the pupils in Nigeria’s primary and secondary schools do not want to study mathematics and science subjects
Science and technology minister, Chief Ogbonnaya Onu, expressed the concern while addressing the state house correspondents at the end of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The implication of this, according to the minister, is that Nigeria will in future depend on foreign expertise on the implementation of critical projects such as dams, refineries, airports and seaports.
The minister also said the development poses threat to the projection that Nigeria by 2050 will emerge as the world’s ninth largest economy.
He said, “We’ve been so worried that in our country, children and pupils in secondary and primary schools, many of them do not like to study Mathematics and science subjects and that has been a worry to us as a nation.
“We see that our lack of interest in science and technology has resulted in, if we want to embark on major projects in the country like building a dam, a refinery or airport or seaport, we rely on foreign expertise. When it comes to science and technology, many think we can’t do it, it has to be done from outside.
“We decided that this must change, that we must have a science technology roadmap that will take our people beyond where we are now, to prepare Nigeria to be truly great nation where we will have the capacity to use the natural resources we have to meet the needs we have as a nation so that we can become self reliant. That will give us self confidence, which we need to be a truly great nation.
“In this roadmap we started by letting our people know that we have a very rich Science and Technology heritage as a nation. In the roadmap we also identified all the things that we need to do to place Nigeria in a position that it should be.
“There are estimates that by 2050 Nigeria, by purchasing power parity will be the ninth largest economy in the world but we cannot get there without Science and Technology. In essence the difference between developed nations of the world that are the richest in the world and the developing countries that are poor, the main difference is Science and Technology and they how they apply it to nation building,” he explained.