Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade has attributed the poor economic situation in the country to the wanton importation of foreign technology.
Ayade, while speaking on Thursday, in Abuja at the appreciation and award day of the Joint Action Congress of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI)., stated that no nation can be truly independent if it is technologically dependent.
He stressed that without the development of local technology,the independence of Nigeria in 1960 will continue to be a mere political independent.
He added:” True independence is when Nigeria becomes self reliant in technology and engineering and that’s why NASENI has come with the presidential approval for the agency to have her dues by what is provided by the constitution for them to have 1 per cent of the federation account.
“Once that is implemented, NASENI will be in a position to begin to start the real research in science and engineering to proffer solutions and innovate technologies that meets our needs within our midst.
“Time has come when indeed Africa and Nigeria cannot continue to depend on foreigners to tell us what to do. With this massive sunlight we’ve got here, we don’t need a white man to come here to tell us how we can trap this sun and convert it to electricity.
In his hot climate, we don’t need a foreigner to show us on how to make air-conditioning to be able to make the place colder. How long will we continue to depend on an external boss to continue to give us directions?
“We must stand strong as a nation because the entire continent depends on us. If Nigeria fails the entire Africa has failed.”
On his part, Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, said the president had directed the agency to collaborate with state governments for accelerated development in the area of technology.
Noting that technology is key to national development, Haruna said the private sector has been brought on board for efficient results in commercialisation of local made products.
Other recipients of the awards included: Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science, Technology and Innovation, Uche Ekwunife, Chairman, House committee on Science Research Institutions, Olaide Akinremi, among others.