The federal government has called on Nigerians in diaspora to return home and seize the various economic opportunities in the country.
Ogbonnaya Onu, minister of science and technology, made the call at an investment forum organised in New York.
Onu explained that various investment opportunities were waiting for them at home.
He challenged them to come and take advantage of them and put to good use so as to help grow Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP).
“We are asking you to come and be billionaires. That is what we are asking you, not millionaires. Come and make billions,” Onu said.
“We will give you products of research at nothing or little cost to you because it would be nice for the scientists and engineers that have done this research to get some little returns. We have taken them to a level where you can now immediately convert them into products, make money out of it; that is the message.
“So we give it (research products) to you, knowing that you will keep the money in Nigeria, you will help employ Nigerians and you will help to grow our gross domestic product (GDP). That is our interest; that is the reason why we are here.”
He also revealed that one of the agencies under the ministry was already working on a cure for epilepsy and was only awaiting the final stages of trials by the National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
“We know that epilepsy is a disease that is worldwide and this agency will not on its own commercialise this drug. For NAFDAC to give its approval, there are so many stages of trials and tests that the drug has to pass through,” he said.
“But at the time that it must have satisfied all these conditions, we don’t want our researchers to go into commercialisation. Because if we do that, they would no longer continue with research; everybody would prefer to go and make money.”