Grace Obike, Abuja
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Sen. Uche Ekwunife has promised that the National Assembly will look into improving the budget funding of Science and Technology Ministry.
She said that this will be done as soon as the budget amendment review is submitted by the presidency.
Ekwunife said this after inspecting the locally made disinfectant tunnels and ventilators invented by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).
The Senator while inspecting the products yesterday in Abuja said the inventions will be needed to sanitize the whole nation and prepare for future pandemics.
Her words, “Considering what is happening globally, this has given us the opportunity to look inward at our technological advancement, this locally made disinfectant and ventilators which is under clinical trials has come at a right time when this country is looking up to innovations like this. The disinfectant is what we need now to sanitize the entire nation, this tunnel is what is needed in every agency and government.
“You can see that every country is on its own right now including Germany that has been the point of medical tourism. The only way to move forward is to improve on what we have and this can be done through NASENI, I believe that this is the only ministry that can anchor other ministries because what is happening in the world today is all about technology, science, innovation and research.
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“From what I can see, I believe that Nigeria has gotten what it needs to fight not just the Coronavirus, we are looking at the fact that another day, another pandemic might arise, I am not praying for it but countries must prepare.
“I want to say that the committee will do everything possible to support you in terms of financial capacity, now that the government is talking about bringing another budget to us in order to caution the effect of this global pandemic, I believe that science and technology must have their own share from that budget. All you need now is financial support, you have the technology and know how all you need is the financial support which is where the National Assembly will come in.”
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu who was also present said that Nigerian professionals can do even better than other countries if given the opportunity.
He said, “These are very difficult times but we are not alone, all over the world people are dying and Nigeria has done so well in minimizing deaths from COVID-19 and our prayer is that at the end we will be one of the countries that will lose the least.
“The disinfectant tunnels are indigenous to Nigeria, I am happy that work is going on in even more advanced ventilators that will be used in our hospitals in the post COVID-19 era. We will like to show the world that what other countries can do, Nigeria can do it better. When this pandemic began, we gave a directive to all our agencies charging them to come in and make their contributions in finding solutions to the problems posed by COVID-19 and we are so happy that in such a short time, we have been able to come up with great inventions.
“We want to reassure the country that we have the capacity to do some of the things being done in develop nations of the world. We should never be in doubt of what Nigerian professionals can do.”