The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has observed that crude oil and other natural resources are valued more than the lives and potentials of Nigerian youths.
Dr Onu made this divulgence on Tuesday at the book launch of the former Minister of Education, Professor Tunde Adeniran, titled: “Africa’s Security Challenges In The 21st Century; Power, Principles and Praxis in Global Politics”.
According to the Minister: ‘Nigeria is endowed with very intelligent youths. They are a national asset rather than a curse and this asset needs to be converted for the economic benefits of the country.
‘Unfortunately, today, natural resources such as crude oil and minerals, are more appreciated and valued than our youths. These resources do not add up to the value which the youths can bring. Our youths have tremendous potentials that need to be encouraged.’
Dr Onu added that science, technology and innovation have the capacity to educate and provide youths with the skills they need to bring out their potentials, while describing the author, Prof. Adeniran, as ‘a star that guides people to shine.’
Speaking at the event, the Chairman of Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, lamented over the increasing number of insecurity cases in the country, describing the situation as ‘a tragic story to tell and a nightmare.’
Also speaking at the event, the former Governor of Ekiti State, Chief Olusegun Adebayo, acknowledged insecurity as a threat to governance, while he appeals to the government to handle it more seriously.
‘Insecurity is a disaster to any government, including Nigeria, but if we commit more time and strategies to it, we will bring it to submission.’
However, the book reviewer, Professor Jideofor Adibe, a publisher of professional journals, noted that the book deserves to have a place in every library.
He said: ‘I see it as a reference source and not just a book. Another point is that it is a very detailed examination of the sources and drivers of security concerns in Africa with contextual and historical discussions on each driver,’ adding that ‘the book approaches history from a strictly African perspective.’
In his closing remarks, the President of the Nigerian Folklore Society (NFS), Dr Bukar Usman, spoke passionately about the unity of Nigeria, insisting that the government and all citizens must do all they can to endure that the country does not break up.