The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has said that the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Oshodi together with other institutes have developed over 250 technologies towards supporting the Agro allied sub-sector of the economy.
Dr. Onu said this while delivering a lecture titled “Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria: The Role of Science and Technology” to Participants of Course 28 at National Defence College, at the weekend, in Abuja.
According to the Minister, in the 80’s, Nigeria spent more than $500 million dollars importing Barley malt for the breweries.
He further said that research findings by FIIRO indicated that sorghum was a better substitute to the imported Barley malt for brewing, adding that banning of imported Barley malt by the Federal Government had saved the country huge foreign exchange.
Onu further disclosed that there were many textile industries in Nigerian years, back but they collapsed due to inability of farmers to supply these industries with sufficient cotton.
The Minister said he therefore directed the Biotechnology Development Agency to begin the process of using Bio-Technology to produce new variety of cotton for distribution to farmers. This he explained is one of the means to revive the ailing textile industries as well creating jobs and wealth for the nation.
The Ministry he added also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with one of the leading confectionery companies in the country, (NASCO FOOD NIG LTD), to produce high Nutrient Density Biscuits, as a way of converting research results into products and services towards job and wealth creation in the country.
The Minister further said that the Ministry operates Technology Incubation Centres in most of the States in the country towards encouraging the development of Micro, and Small Enterprises hinged on utilizing research results, inventions and innovations of Nigerians. The Centres provides support services to young Entrepreneurs. he added.
Abdul Ganiyu Aminu
DD (Press and Public Relation)