The Federal Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, on Friday reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to accelerate the pace of development anchored on the effectiveness deployment of science, technology and innovation.

Onu made this known during the inauguration of the National Waste-to-Wealth programme on “Using appropriate technologies on waste management”, in the Southwest zone in Akure.

He said that the ministry would continue to use science, technology and innovation for the transformation of the nation to attain the greatness Nigeria was destined for.

The minister said that the programme would enable the conversion of waste to valuable economic goods and services to help create wealth and jobs, reduce poverty.

He said that this would help to defeat hunger and stimulate national consciousness on the power of science and technology as important instrument for nation building.

“I am happy with this collaboration between the Federal Ministry and the Ondo State Government.

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“I am also confident that this programme, if properly implemented will help our great nation effectively and efficiently convert the huge amount of waste generated in abundance in both rural and urban areas into very useful products to promote happiness of our people.

“Through this programme, by using appropriate technologies, we will help ensure that what becomes waste household can become useful for another.

“Indeed, waste generated in one household can become a source of income for the people. Science, technology and innovation will help make this possible,” he said.

Onu further urged Nigerians to lend their support to the programme and embrace it, while he expressed confidence that it would serve the people of the zone as well as Nigeria.

Earlier, the Ondo State Governor, Mr Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, said that the generation of waste and its disposal should form part of new learning for safe and healthy living.

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“A discarded material announces the end of a purpose for which it is designed, waiting for a yet-to-be determined end. Our material world is whole and indivisible.

“Therefore, Waste-to-Wealth brings forth a new freshness to a seeming despondent state of affairs in the polity.

“Domestic waste is generated and disposed in ways that are inimical to the well being of the society. This waste, both solid and liquid, often pose hazard to the health and safety of the society.

“Drainages are blocked with debris, buildings erected on easement and petroleum by-products such as polythene bags, nylon, plastic, disused boxes, household utensils, scraps of disused vehicles and machines, among others, litter everywhere,” he said.

Akeredolu said that what would ordinarily constitute a challenge to man, by the very circumstances of  existence now held the promise to be a veritable source of income, if humans learned new ways of doing things.

“This message is good music to the ears of the people of our dear state considering the financial difficulty which is our lot at present.

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“The knowledge of the possibility of converting waste disposal to generation of wealth is exciting. More interesting is the availability of the technical know-how.

“We are more than excited that our state has been chosen as the pilot site for the programme which will be in the six geo-political zones in the country.

“Indigenes and residents of the state are more than ready to learn how to participate in this innovating scheme,” he said.