The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that there are strong indications that Nigeria may record a breakthrough in the cure for Coronavirus and Lassa Fever diseases.
The development, according to Onu follows a claim by four high profile scientists in the country on the discovery of what can lead to the cure of the deadly diseases.
Dr Onu disclosed this on Saturday in Jos during an interview with journalists, saying that the former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Prof Maurice Iwu, who is also a scientist, had sent in a similar claim which was being verified.
He said the Ministry of Science and Technology has also set up a committee drawn from the Nigeria Academy of Science to verify the claims and any others, adding the claim of Professor Iwu had been sent to the United States of America for proper verification.
“Nigeria has intelligent people which can compete with their counterparts in any part of the world,” Dr Onu said. “I think we have reached a stage that if Nigeria has a problem we should look inward first before we turn outside. Let us explore what we have first. Right now there are four scientists that claim they have information that can lead to the cure of Coronavirus.”
Dr Onu, however, said that the Ministry is “not accepting the claims and information,” adding that “we are in touch with the Nigeria Academy of Science which has the best intellectuals in science to look into the claims, subject them to scrutiny and analysis. The information on Coronavirus, in particular, is being scrutinized,” he disclosed.
The Minister, in a keynote address at the National Youth Summit of the Middle Belt Council, held at Crest Hotel in Jos on Saturday, enjoined young people in the region and Nigeria as a whole never to allow the hardship of the past to define their future.
“I want the youths to recognize that they have enough people they can always look up to as role models. This administration under President Mohammadu Buhari is working very hard to build a bright future for all Nigerians. We are in the process of moving our economy from depending entirely on resources to depend on knowledge that is innovation-driven,” he stated.
He called on the youths to take advantage of new technologies the ministry had developed in virtually all the 17 agencies supervised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology to improve their lives.
Dr Onu said the ministry has the capacity to create enough jobs to help the country fight and defeat unemployment, adding that through existing technologies youths can have the necessary skills to improve their lives.