FG to partner EU on science and technology
Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, the Minister of Science and Technology, on Friday in Abuja said the Federal Government would partner the European Union to develop its science and technology sector.
Onu said this when Dr. Michel Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria paid him a visit.
He said that the ministry would support the EU’s call for the expansion of existing partnership in science and technology, adding that it will be beneficial to both parties.
“We feel very happy that you have taken this very important decision to expand beyond the traditional roles in your relationship with the country.
“Your expansion should include transport, energy, climate change, education, agriculture and science and technology. Improvement in any of these areas will be very beneficial to both parties.”
“We will work very closely with all other ministries as science and technology is directly involved in every aspect of the economy.
“I believe very strongly that the EU will benefit from this stronger relationship with Nigeria because we are trading partners.’’
The minister also assured the delegation that the country’s research institutes will work with their counterparts in the EU on the upcoming conference scheduled to hold in Lagos with the theme, “Horizon 2020”, organized by the EU.
“We assure you that we support the conference and the ministry and other agencies in the ministry would participate to ensure that this conference is a huge success.
“We are working very hard in this ministry, to help move Nigeria away from a resource-based economy that is solely depended on commodities by emphasising a knowledge-based innovation-driven economy.
Head of the EU delegation told the minister that they had come to expand and improve the relationship that existed between EU and the country.
“We want to expand our cooperation beyond the traditional field of development cooperation; we want to look at new avenues, new sector and new domains where we believe the partnership will make sense with country like Nigeria.
“ That is energy, climate change, transport and science and technology’’
He informed the minister that the EU was planning `Horizon 2020’ conference in Lagos on Nov. 9 and 10 to improve the awareness of research institutes in Nigeria.
He said a high level delegation was expected from Brussels and over 60 Nigerian institutions/universities will participate in the conference.
Dr. Teresa Ribeiro, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Republic of Portugal also visited the Minister to discuss cooperation.
She said there was need to improve on the relationship in the areas that would be beneficial to both countries.
Ribeiro said Portugal was expected to host a “web summit on development of new technology’’ in Lisbon later in the year with about 50, 000 participants.
The minister promised that Nigeria will participate in the summit, “as the country welcomes new ideas in area of technology.”
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