As part of its efforts in diversifying the Nigerian economy, the Federal Government has called on investors and the Nigerian industrial sector to acquire technologies from the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Ohodi (FIIRO) and its Research and Development (R&D) results as it is a panacea to the development of the Nigerian economy.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu who made this call while on a factory tour to FIDSON Healthcare Plc, and Unilever Nigeria in Lagos, stated that rapid acceleration of industrial growth through diversification would not be achieved if FIIRO technology and its R&D results are not purchased by investors.
He noted that the institute has developed over 250 technologies for commercialisation, stressing that the needed job creation would be unattainable should these technologies continue to lie fallow on the shelves.
Onu stated that the quest for this administration to urgently grow the country’s economy was necessary, saying that the federal government would continue to appeal to investors to buy into FIIRO technology, thereafter enact a law that would mandate industrialist to patronise local technologies.
He said; “Since independence, our economy has been commodities based, but we have decided to move our economy from commodities based to knowledge based and technology driven economy. While we export cocoa, we import chocolate, while we export timber, we import plywood and today, we export crude oil and import petroleum products. Countries like India have no drop of oil, yet it has one of the world’s largest refineries. Any time there is a sharp drop in the price of crude oil, it affects the Nigerian economy that is why the country went into recession.
“South Korea has been able to excel because they have basket of products; when one fails, they move to the others. We have chosen to move our economy from commodities based economy to knowledge based economy driven by technology and with various kinds of baskets of products.
“We will succeed, that is why I am moving round to encourage industries to cooperate with the R&D of our research institutes and to buy into FIIRO tech. In the past, our researches end up in the shelf, but now we know what the industries need and we must provide them.
“FIIRO has signed MoU with NASCO, and MAY and BAKER has also entered into agreement with FIIRO on some of its R&D results and technologies.”
Commending FIDSON as the first indigenous pharmaceutical company, he assured the management that the FG would see to all her request.
Earlier in her speech Prof Gloria Elemo, Director General, FIIRO commended Unilever for its relationship with FIIRO on the area of its R&D, stressing that the Ministers visit was for the commercialisation of its R&D results.
Elemo pointed out that development is not achievable if the local resources are not used by industries, saying, “This is why the Minister is interested in visiting Unilever to further strengthen the relationship it has with FIIRO.”
She noted that Unilever and FIDSON’s interest in adopting FIIRO technology and its R&D was a positive step forward, adding that other companies would follow suit.
Commending FG for the visit, Mr Siddharth Ramswamy, Vice President, Supply Chain, Unilever West Africa, stated that Unilever is committed to the development of the Nigerian economy, stressing that it has contributed immensely to the country’s socio-economic development over the decades.
He added; “Our aim is to continue to add value to Nigeria not only through continued investment in local manufacturing and backward integration, but through various social projects specifically aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).