The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu; and the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mrs. Aisha Abubakar, met in Abuja on Monday on the implementation of a Presidential Order directing government Ministries, Departments and Agencies to give preference to locally-made goods and services in their procurement.
Some departments and agencies under the Ministry of Science and Technology also attended the meeting, which held at the headquarters of the ministry in Abuja.
Abubakar said the Ministry of Science and Technology was strategic to the implementation of the directive because of the size of the ministry and its agencies.
She disclosed that the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment had been mandated to collate information for the transformation of the presidential order into a government policy.
The minister said, “You are aware of the government’s directive on the need to increase patronage of locally manufactured goods through the use of Executive Order 03 of May 18, 2017. It has become imperative for the MDAs to put in place structures to actualise the objective.
“The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is mandated with the responsibility of collating information from the government to formulate a policy to ensure that the Federal Government of Nigeria maximises the use of Made-in-Nigeria goods.”
She added, “Local content means both the amount of Nigerian or locally produced human and material resources utilised in the manufacture of goods and services (this should be 40 per cent as a minimum), and goods and services from wholly owned and registered Nigerian companies.
“The ministry should consider hosting technology fairs similar to trade expos to encourage local research and development so that scientists can come forth with their innovations for industries to appropriate.”
Also, during a courtesy call on the Minister of Science and Technology, the Nigerian Society of Engineers backed the plan to procure two new communications satellites by the Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited.
The President, NSE, Mr. Otis Anyaji, who was represented by the Vice-President, Mr. Tasiu Wudil, said Nigeria needed more communications satellites to support the existing NigComSat-1R.
The NSE boss kicked against the proliferation of the management of Nigerian satellites.
“In all serious space-faring nations, the management of their satellites is vested in one ministry. However, in Nigeria with just two types of satellites, we have more than one managing ministries. What will happen when the Nigerian government decides to launch metrological satellites? Will it be managed by another ministry?” he asked.
Responding, Onu said what happened in space had direct impact on education, ICTs, defence, environment and national security, adding that Nigeria would play a more significant role in space technology.