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It fills me with immense joy to address you on this momentous occasion of commissioning the newly acquired and renovated FIIRO South East Zonal Office in Enugu, Enugu State. As the Innovation, Science, and Technology Sector steward, I am committed to translating our promises into tangible actions, ensuring a conducive work environment for our esteemed and dedicated personnel.

First and foremost, I thank the Almighty God for guiding us in achieving this milestone. Under the exemplary leadership of Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai T. Adamu, FIIRO's Director-General/CEO, FIIRO has made remarkable progress in infrastructural development within a relatively short period. Dr. Adamu's unwavering dedication to fulfilling the agency's mandates is commendable, which is evident in initiatives such as this office facility that prioritize the welfare and comfort of our staff members. Her commitment resonates with the Renewed Hope Agenda of our esteemed President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR.

Distinguished guests, Nigeria's economic prosperity hinges on harnessing our abundant indigenous talents and raw materials to drive technological innovation. Our nation is blessed with diverse skills and natural resources across all six geopolitical zones, motivating us to extend development beyond urban centres to rural communities. Since innovation is the cornerstone of global economic growth, neglecting it jeopardizes our socio-economic progress. Therefore, we must prioritize the development of innovative technologies to propel Nigeria's economic diversification away from oil and gas dependency.

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu's Renewed Hope Agenda is committed to leveraging innovation, science, and technology to combat hunger and poverty in Nigeria. This stance rhymes with the global economic landscape, emphasizing innovation as the key to development and compelling us not to lag behind. To this end, the Ministry has recently revised the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2022) and developed additional policies to accelerate technological advancement.

As you know, our vision to industrialize Nigeria through Innovation, Science, and Technology has led to the establishment of Technology and Innovation Centers across the six geopolitical zones and Technology Incubation Centers in all states. These facilities serve as hubs for stakeholders in the IST ecosystem to foster global competitiveness by harnessing mineral and human resources. Furthermore, our commitment to indigenous technology is evident in our support for establishing Centers of Excellence for Welding Engineering and Technology, aimed at enhancing collaboration between the government and the private sector to drive development in the industry.

The Southeast region holds significant importance as Nigeria's industrial hub, motivating the provision of this office facility to support capacity building and enhance productivity through innovative activities.

Once again, I sincerely congratulate the indefatigable Director-General/CEO of FIIRO and her dedicated team. Your resilience and commitment to excellence are truly commendable. I also urge the staff to maintain and preserve this facility to ensure its longevity.

With gratitude, I now commission this newly acquired and renovated South East Zonal Office on this memorable Tuesday, 20th February 2024, to serve the glory of God and humanity.

Thank you, and God bless Nigeria.

His Excellency, Chief Uche Nnaji

Honourable Minister

Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology

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