FULL TEXT OF A SPEECH BY DR. OGBONNAYA ONU, HONOURABLE MINISTER OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ON THE OCCASION OF THE LAUNCH OF SUBGRADE SOILS ATLAS OF NIGERIA, ON TUESDAY, JANUARY 31, 2017, AT CHIDA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS, JABI, ABUJA

PROTOCOL:

It is with happiness that I stand before you as Special Guest of Honour of this very important occasion. I thank the leadership of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) for their vision and deep sense of commitment to national development.

Today’s event is historic. It is also symbolic in a significant manner. The thrust of today’s event, which is the launch of the 1st edition of the sub-graded Soils Atlas of Nigeria, is important. I say so because the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology more than ever before, has shown that it will not rest in its resolve to utilize science, technology and innovation to defeat poverty, create jobs, strengthen the Naira, reawaken our national pride and stimulate growth in our national economy. The event we are witnessing today is a clear testimony of our resolve to confront and defeat this challenge for the sake of a better and a more prosperous Nigeria.

Let me reassure you all that the APC led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari will remain resolute in its resolve to ensure that research efforts are tailored to respond to the urgent and important needs of the nation. This will help us build a modern economy that is knowledge based, thereby helping to restore our national pride as a nation that has the largest concentration of black people in the world.

It is in this regard that we are encouraged by the visionary efforts of NBRRI in fashioning this landmark document which is an invaluable aid to road planners, designers and even contractors who can obtain prior insight of the types of subgrade Soil. It offers a fair assessment of the engineering properties of the soils to be used on sites in different parts of the country. This will aid appropriate response to remolding and loading in any location, even before they engage in any detailed field work. These will be useful to both public institutions and private concerns, especially in decision making for engineering works, including road, earth-dams, slope stability analyses, tunneling, foundation decision for buildings, communication masts and bridges, among others. Indeed, it is an invaluable tool to help strengthen the soil against the disturbing incidence of collapse of buildings which has claimed several precious lives. It is also important in our efforts to build durable road networks in different parts of the country.

I have directed that numerous copies of the Atlas be kept for use at the Federal Ministries of Works, Housing and Water Resources as well as in their respective offices at Zonal and State levels. Civil work contractors will also find it useful in planning the execution of their briefs.

I am confident that Nigeria will benefit from the use to which this subgrade Soil Atlas will be put. This is the first of its kind in the country.

Most distinguished ladies and gentlemen, It is with faith in the future greatness of our beloved country that I once again, commend NBRRI for this visionary initiative. I urge all stakeholders to rededicate themselves to the task of nation building. I am confident that by all of us working together, we will succeed. The future is bright.

Once again, I thank you so much.

GOD BLESS NIGERIA

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