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Minister tasks Nigerians on fourth industrial revolution

By Segun Olaniyi, Abuja
22 December 2020   |   4:04 am
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has stressed the need for Nigerians to participate fully in the fourth industrial revolution.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has stressed the need for Nigerians to participate fully in the fourth industrial revolution.

Onu made the call while delivering the keynote address at the 6th World Igbo Summit, held at Gregory University, Uturu, Abia State, at the weekend.

Hinging the call on today’s knowledge-based economy, he noted that Africa, for obvious reasons, could not participate in the first, second and third industrial revolutions.

According to Onu, the fourth revolution is also characterised by breakthroughs in Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotics, Internet of Things (IoT), Nanotechnology and Biotechnology, stressing that the fourth industrial revolution is evolving exponentially and disrupting industries.

“Today, the richest companies or corporations are those based on technology. Also, the richest people in the world are individuals who make their money through technology, whose networth is far more than the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of many countries put together,” he said.

The minister urged the public and the private sector to work closely for speedy industrialisation of the country, adding that technical education should be funded for the production of skilled manpower needed to sustain the industrialisation drive.

He charged Nigerians to utilise technology in their businesses to facilitate online transactions while appealing to entrepreneurs to invest in research and innovation, to remain competitive and efficient.

The first civilian governor of Abia State stressed the need for Nigeria to prepare for post-crude oil era, adding that the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis that led to closure of industries reduced the demand for petroleum products.

“This situation arose at a time many developed countries had started planning to reduce their dependence on petroleum products, in preference for the use of renewable energy sources, to reduce the adverse effect of climate change,” he added.