Coronavirus pandemic: Senate canvasses improved funding for science, technology

The Senate on Thursday said improved funding of the science and technology sector would strengthen Nigeria’s response to the coronavirus pandemic and similar outbreaks in the future.

Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Senator Uche Ekwunife, made the call in Abuja, after inspecting ventilators and disinfectant-spraying devices produced by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure.

Members of the Senate committee inspected the devices, which were produced as part of efforts to combat COVID-19 in Nigeria, in company with the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu.

Ekwunife said, “We are calling on the Federal Government to invest more in science and technology.

“The only way going forward and to maintain healthy living is to invest in science and technology.”

The senator added that following the production of ventilators by NASENI, Nigeria was better placed to combat COVID-19 and future health challenges.

She promised that the Senate committee would ensure that science and technology got adequate allocation in the national budget.

Also speaking at the event, Onu said Nigeria had so far, done “very well” in managing the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country.

He added, “We pray that this will be sustained so that Nigeria will not record many deaths.”

He observed that the designs of the ventilators and disinfectant-spraying devices were unique to Nigeria.

Onu said, “We want to show the world that Nigeria can do things better than most countries. Nigeria has the capacity to do what most of the advanced countries can do.”

He added that the production of the ventilators and disinfectant devices by NASENI was in line with a directive given to agencies under the Ministry of Science and Technology to come up with solutions to problems arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Punch

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