The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has called on Nigerian Entrepreneurs and manufacturers to take advantage of the tremendous opportunities in the recently signed African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), to expand their trade to other African countries.

Dr.  Onu made the appeal when he received a budding entrepreneur in Pencil Production, Mr. Muyideen Adebayo Ibrahim in his office on Monday in Abuja.

Dr.Onu also appealed to Nigerian investors to continually embark on research so as to add value to their products so as to access the global market.

Dr. Onu further said that the various policies of the Ministry were designed to enable Nigeria look inward and produce what it needed, thereby reducing excessive importation.

According to Dr. Onu, pencil is very important to everyone both young and old in various areas of life such as schools and offices. adding that pencil production will create job opportunities and reduce poverty to its barest minimum, he added.

The Minister recalled his visit to project Development Office (PRODA) in Enugu in 2015, saying that “he was very disturbed when he was informed that there was no single company in Nigeria producing pencil, while the companies producing pencils collapsed or folded up due to lack of funds”.

He stated that as a Minister, he taught it wise at that time that pencil should be produced in Nigeria at least for the benefit of our primary schools, secondary, and tertiary institution.

Pencil he said “is something that Nigeria should produce by themselves, because the raw materials needed to do that is very much available in Nigeria”. Production of Pencil will help in job creation, thereby moving Nigeria out of poverty.

He therefore encouraged Nigerian investors to put more effort in research and innovation to boost the economy of Nigeria.

Earlier, the Chairman of BEMIG NIG LTD, Mr. Muyideen Adebayo Ibrahim said his products are of international standard and friendly to the environment because he uses recycled newspaper as raw materials for production.

He therefore solicited the Ministry’s support to actualize the dream of producing pencil for Nigeria’s consumption and export to other countries.




21st October, 2019