The Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was ably represented by the DG/CEO, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo at the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition held at Eko Hotel & Suites between 26th - 28th January, 2016 held under the auspices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and endorsement of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The Offshore West Africa Youth Employment Programme (YEP) is an important component of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition, an initiative owned by PenWell and designed by Lonadek in collaboration with the Energy Institute. At the event, the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu gave a keynote address at the opening ceremony, presented a Ministerial speech on Youth Employment Programme during the Youth Employment Programme Session and declared the exhibition open.
He was conducted round the Exhibition Hall by the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Company, Mr. Bayo Ojulari. During the Ministerial Speech on YEP, the Hon. Minister reinstated the need to diversify the economy in the light of dwindling oil revenues especially through agriculture with particular emphasis on agro- and solid mineral processing by employing over 1000 indigenous technologies developed at the 17 parastatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. He further said that the technologies developed by the 17 parastatals under the supervision of his Ministry have been found to have applications in all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria and could create millions of job if deployed effectively.
The Hon. Minister encouraged the youths and the organizers to look beyond establishing and developing careers in energy, power and hydrocarbons. On this note, the Hon. Minister therefore, invites the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria to partner with the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and its parastatals like the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi on sustainable, holistic Youth Empowerment Programme that will lead to massive job creation and bring to the barest minimum the unemployment rate in Nigeria.