The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has explained that the Presidential Executive Order 005 is more than just another move by the government to promote local content; rather, is a state policy on technology development.
Onu, who was speaking at a sensitisation workshop for staff of the ministry on the full implementation of the Presidential Executive Order No 5, today (April 21, 2022) in Abuja, described the order as a revolutionary presidential executive order. He described it as the ministry’s contribution to assist and transform the nation so that it will get to that level that God has already prepared Nigeria to get to.
Giving the background to the policy, Onu explained that Nigeria still depends on expatriates for the turn-around maintenance of her refineries because there was no enabling policy for home-grown professionals to understudy the foreigners and invariably become self-sufficient in using those technologies.
“Nigeria built her first refinery in Port Harcourt in the early ‘60s. Port Harcourt has two refineries – the first built by the Federal Government and the most modern – Kaduna has one and there is another in Warri.
“Now, because there was no Presidential Executive Order No 005 when these refineries were being built, Nigerian engineers, scientists and professionals did not participate in the conception, design and construction of these refineries. The effect is that though we are involved in the operation of the refinery – even the turn-around maintenance – very often we need foreigners to come and do it for us. You can look at the ‘60s till now. This is about six decades,” he said.
He maintained that Nigeria needs to create the [right] environment using policy and legal framework to ensure that Nigerian professionals participate and acquire these technologies for national development.
“The essence of Executive Order No 005 is not just [about] procurement. That is only a part of it. We want to make sure that we can acquire technologies that we don’t have and be in a position to now build and reproduce those things that we import from other countries. So, we can attain self-sufficiency and be self-reliant. No great nation can maintain greatness without self-reliance.
“I want to tell Nigerians that using the key of science, technology and innovation we can unlock the very big hub of opportunities for our people. If all sectors depend on science, technology and innovation, we will be able to solve our problems,” he added.
He further expressed confidence that the complaints/appeal procedure would address the various complaints in all sectors of the economy, even as he congratulated the national coordinator of the strategy implementation task office of the Presidential Executive Order No 005 and his team for their hard work, urging them to continue to work hard until the nation’s goal is achieved, stressing that Nigerians are tired of importing everything she uses.
“We must look inwards. We must aim to be self-sufficient, to become self-reliant. This way, we can create enough jobs for our young people. This is what the nation needs,” he stressed.
Earlier, in her welcome address, the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Monisola Udoh, restated that in February 2018, President Muhammadu Buhari out of necessity signed the Executive Order 5 into action for the promotion of the planning and execution of projects, promotion of Nigerian content in contracts, science, engineering and technology for Nigerians both home and in the diaspora including investors.
She reiterated that the order is, indeed, necessary and full implementation must be pursued.
“On assumption of office, I was inundated with the various achievements performed by the task office; most importantly the sensitisation of all Nigerians on the provisions of the order. This should not only be sustained but improved upon,” she added.
Similarly, the national coordinator of the Strategy Implementation Task Office of the Presidential Executive Order No. 05 (SITOPEO-5), Engr. Ibiam Oguejiofor, said the order will encourage Nigerian youths to be at the centre of socio-economic activities.