COVID-19: Science minister, Abdullahi, strives to make impact in office



Since assumption of office, the Minister of state, Science and Technology, Barr. Mohammed Abdullahi has strived to carry out his major responsibility to augment activities in the sector reaching out to those at the grassroots. BINTA SHAMA reports.

Mohammed H. Abdullahi was born on 21st, April, 1968 at Uke in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.  He is a graduate of Usman Danfodio University, Sokoto with a combined Honours Degree in Law and was eventually called to the Nigerian Bar in 1991.

He started his Legal Career with Messrs Ola Olanipekun & Co. (Prime Chambers) as an Associate Attorney (1992 – 1994) shortly after his compulsory National Youth Service Corps Scheme (NYSC) with Messrs Ukpabi, Ukpabi & Co. (Legal Practitioners) in Enugu from 1991-1992.

Report shows that his career span over two decades in both the private and public sectors which include being a founding partner in the law firm of Messrs Hammart & Co. (Tafida Chambers) from 1994 to date.

 Amongst many appointments, Abdullahi was appointed the Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice, Nasarawa state between 2003 to 2005, Group Company Secretary/Legal Adviser, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) from 2006 to 2008, Vice President/Executive (Administration & Regulatory, Intercell Tech Limited, 2008 to 2011. Then, re-appointed Attorney General/Commissioner for Justice – Nasarawa state, from 2011 to 2013 and later became Special Adviser on Special Duties where he superintended the Nasarawa state Government 30 Billion Bond Issuance Programme (1st Tranche) and also supervised the state’s Investment portfolio.

Until his appointment as minister by President Muhammadu Buhari, he was the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) of Nasarawa state from 2017 to 2019.  He is a member of both the Nigerian (NBA) and International Bar Associations (IBA).

The call for local technology to STEM Covid-19

Study shows that the teaching and learning of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), is way beyond the mere transfer of knowledge. It is said to engage students and equip them with critical thinking, problem solving, creative and collaborative skills, and ultimately establish connections between the school, work place, community and the global economy which in turn, is the same as Science Technology and Innovation (STI). And further analysis has shown that STEM workers play a key role in sustaining  growth and stability of a nation. STEM education creates critical thinkers, increases science literacy, and enables the next generation of innovators.

Treading on this path, to help develop grow and sustain the economy of Nigeria, the minister of state has hammered on how STEM can be embraced not by few but every Nigerian. He acknowledged education as a priority to engage the younger generation to create a better Nigeria from their early days.

Amidst COVID19, Barr. Abdullahi, called on both, formal and informal institutions to change their paradigm in educational curricula and delivery and also stressed on the need to develop indigenous and local technology to effectively tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

He said Nigeria cannot achieve much if it relied on other countries for her needs. He therefore challenged Nigerian scientists, engineers, technicians to rise to the challenge by developing appropriate and useful technologies to stem health challenges ravaging Nigeria and other countries.

He further urged Nigerian professionals to look into the production of vaccines, locally sourced drugs or natural alternatives in line with globally accepted standards.
“The diversification agenda of the present administration, is hinged on the need for all Nigerian to harness our natural resources for growth and economic sustenance. Nigeria and other developing nations need to accord priority to Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in the scheme of things. The time to fold our hands and get dispatch of technologies from overseas may be getting over gradually. Africans and indeed Nigerians must be passionate with vigorous pursuit of getting it right as we harness all our intellectual and natural capabilities to develop our nations.”

Challenging youths on STEM

In same vein, while speaking to the Natural and Applied Science Students Association (NASSA) of Nasarawa State University, the minister called on Nigerian students to join the train in encouraging their peers and younger ones to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.
 
He said that STEM are important to national development, as the fate of the global community lay solidly in these subjects.
“The future, fate and destiny of the world youths is dependent on science and technology. Science and Technology is playing a central role in all spheres of global affairs today, whether military, economy, entertainment, and the rest of them.”
He assured the students of continuous support for their research materials, facilities and their welfare.
He expressed solidarity with the students, and expressed his gratitude for the honour and support shown for his office and assured them of his support at all time.

Parents to encourage their wards to love STEM

While on a courtesy visit to the minister’s office by the members of Mararaba Political Forum of Karu Local Government in Nassarawa state, the minister called on all parents and guardians to encourage their children to embrace science subjects in schools, especially Engineering and Mathematics.

“Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics are important to national development as they could enhance the quality and future of their wards. Technology drives every economy, military operations and almost every area of human endeavors, the future, fate and destiny of the world depends on technology.
He appealed to them to live peacefully with their neighbors and embrace themselves as one entity.
Abdullahi expressed satisfaction with the kind solidarity, cooperation and harmony existing among them and hoped that such should continue till next generation.
The Chairman of the delegation, Mr. Usman Umar Bazza said that they came to congratulate him on his  new appointment and to commiserate with him on the death of his step mother who recently passed on and to wish him well in his present administration.
They also presented him with the Award of Excellence in recognition of his appointment and performance in his office.

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