The Lagos State Government has promised to mobilise all institutions of the State to promote science for peace and development as it joined the rest of the world to celebrate the 2019 World Science Day.
Speaking at the annual celebration held at Adeyemi-Bero Auditorium, Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu stated that the World Science Day for Peace and Development highlights the significant role of science in society and the need to engage the wider public in debates on emerging scientific issues.
He revealed that the Day is aimed at ensuring that citizens are kept informed of developments in science, by underscoring the role scientists play in broadening our understanding of the remarkable, fragile planet we call home and in making our societies more sustainable.
According to him, “UNESCO strongly encourages all to join in celebrating World Science Day to strengthen public awareness on the role of science for sustainable societies, promote national and international solidarity for shared science between countries and draw attention to the challenges faced by science and raising support for scientific endeavour”.
Speaking on the theme of the event: “Open Science, Leaving No One Behind”, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Mr. Hakeem Fahm, pointed out that open science has the potential to significantly increase scientific collaboration, discovery and to facilitate the adoption of well-adapted technology.
“It can be a game-changer for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) particularly in Africa, developing countries, and Small Island Developing States (SIDS)”, he added.
The Governor affirmed that in line with the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of the present administration, there is a need for inclusive scientific research towards enhancing good governance and improving the skills and knowledge of citizens in making informed decisions.
“With the growing global concept to make scientific research accessible to improve human affairs, the State Government is providing adequate resources to harness potentials that will positively influence the future of the State and the nation as a whole”, he acknowledged.
He stated further that in spite of the progress made in recent years, the world is still witnessing great disparities across and within different regions and different countries in accessing Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and enjoying their benefits.
In addressing the disparities and closing the existing STI gaps, the Governor declared that the practice of open science should be embraced by all a sundry.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Segun Adeniji revealed that the event provided a robust avenue to discuss emerging contemporary issues in science and technology.
He stated that inculcating in the youth the value of science and technology to improve their critical thinking and innovative reasoning is the highlight of the 2019 event as the government is driving towards a technologically sustaining society.
While presenting gift items to the 57 Lagos Young Scientists who emerged from the 57 LGAs and LCDAs in the State, the Commissioner for Education, Mrs. Folasade Adefisayo implored all stakeholders to support government initiatives in building an inclusive world of science.
The occasion was graced by the Chairman House Committee on Science and Technology, Mr. Olanrewaju Afinni; Commissioner for Physical Planning, Dr. Idris Salako; Special Adviser to the Governor on Innovation and Technology, Mr. Olatunbosun Alake; Body of Permanent Secretaries and other Government Functionaries.