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Nnaji Harps On Gender Equality, Women Empowerment As Key To Nat Devt

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The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji.
The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji has stressed the critical importance of gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in national development as critical factors for the socio-economic advancement of the nation.

Nnaji expressed these sentiments during a one-day sensitisation programme on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) themed “Unleashing Potentials: Empowering the Girl Child for a Secured Future” organised by the ministry in Abuja.

Represented by the director of science, technology and promotion, Mr. Ronald Ukpong, Nnaji reiterated the goal of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration to build resilient and committed women leaders in the innovation, science and technology sector. The focus is on transitioning the economy from consumption to production, with a particular emphasis on girl child education.

Highlighting the significance of STEM education, the minister emphasised its role as a new learning method designed for easy comprehension by students. He noted the existing gender disparity in STEM, with the participation of girls and women remaining lower than that of men, even in technologically advanced nations.

Nnaji expressed concern about the lack of recognition and utilisation of women’s potential in societal development, particularly in Africa, leading to stereotypes and the under-utilisation of their problem-solving capabilities.

In recognition of the pivotal role played by women in the development of the innovation, science, and technology sector, the ministry aims to enhance women’s capacity by integrating them into human capital development, agriculture, industrial growth, banking and finance.

The minister commended teachers for their resilience, dedication and diligence in facilitating children’s ambitions and dreams of greater self-reliance.

The permanent secretary of the ministry, Mr. James Sule, represented by Mrs. Aisha Bello, highlighted the government’s commitment to technological development through the establishment of numerous Federal universities of science and technology. These institutions aim to improve teaching in STEM education and popularise science education in the country.

As part of the ministry’s efforts to promote science education, it seeks to enhance visibility for deserving groups, fostering equity and encouraging careers in STEM.

Speaking on the untapped potentials of individuals, Mr. Olobashola Kolawole who represented the director of FCT Department of Innovation Science and Technology, emphasised the tragedy of watching potentials go untapped. He urged students to work hard, set goals, understand their strengths and passions, take risks and surround themselves with inspiration and encouragement to achieve their aspirations.

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