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DG/CEO FIIRO Hosts Hon Minister of Innovation, Science & Technology on Working Visit

The federal government quest to create wealth and make jobs available to all has received a major boost.

This became self-evident last week with the flurry of activities at the nation’s foremost Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi [FIIRO] as the Institute’s management led the Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology (IST) on a tour of its facility.

The Minister of IST, Chief Geoffrey Nnaji, who was on his first official visit to FIIRO, could not hide his surprise and elation at the vast opportunities and finished research works which he said if harnessed by business men, and commercialised will fetch Nigeria huge amounts of money.

The extensive tour took the Ministerial entourage through the FIIRO cassava pilot plant, the Institute’s pavilion which houses the proto type equipment, the imposing engineering building, the FIIRO Dome, where the Institute showcases all their products which have been concluded and ready for commercialisation. The tour ended with visits to the various laboratories.

Addressing the Media, the Director General/CEO FIIRO, Dr. Jummai Tutuwa said innovation and technology hold sway in issues of national development. She noted that the institute has been at the forefront of boosting innovative research on all the available raw materials in Nigeria, both agro-based and mineral excluding oil, which has yielded positive solutions.

Dr. Tutuwa said that the Institute has developed over 250 research and development technologies and has completely packaged over 100 of them ready for immediate transfer.

The amiable DG/CEO of FIIRO, disclosed that the food, beverage, pulp, paper, textile, cement, paint, soap and cosmetics as well as the engineering industry amongst others have benefitted immensely from the Institute’s research and development results.

“The Institute is spurring economic development through job creation and technology transfer and has trained over 500,000 techno-entrepreneurs on its various developed technologies”, said Tutuwa.

According to her, numerous entrepreneurs have established production enterprises based on the technologies acquired from the Institute, adding that millions of jobs have been created through direct and multiplier effects of these entrepreneurs.

Emphasizing on what he said before, the Minister Science and Technology said “We must produce, we must get people employed. We must commercialise the research we have. There are so many of these research products we have on the shelf that have not been touched. If Nigeria can concentrate on bringing out these research products, then Nigeria will change overnight”.

“I keep saying that to move this country forward we need innovation, science and technology. We are the focus of economic development, there are no two ways about it and that is why I keep praying that more money be allocated to places like FIIRO so that those researches can see the light of the day.”

Speaking about the FIIRO cassava pilot plant, he noted that with cassava alone that we can make fortunes in this country. “We have quality cassava machines here. Nigeria is the largest producer of cassava in the whole world. We produce 64 million metric tons per annum. With the strength we have now, we will multiply it to 120 million metric tons and make a lot of money.

“From cassava, we can have feed for poultry, cows using cassava peels, then you can get on to getting starch, sorbitol, flour etcetera. We have to stop importing and look inwards,” he said.

Commending the DG/CEO FIIRO, the Minister described her as capable hands and said he has been discussing with her and that “part of our focus going forward will be to start doing pilot planting so that we have as many cassava, as many plants as possible so we can use the leaves, stem to make papers.”

“We are also using this opportunity to appeal to investors that go outside Nigeria to import machines, to look inwards as we have better, solid and durable machines that can last very long in FIIRO. We are inviting investors to come here and see what we have so as to commercialize most of these things,” appealed the Minister.

(Source “The Nation Dated on March 17, 2024”)

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