Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) in Oshodi says it has developed an industrial blueprint that can create five million jobs annually.
FIIRO said that the jobs would be created through processing and value addition to the nation’s raw materials.
Prof. Gloria Elemo, its Director-General, made the assertion when the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science and Technology paid an official visit to the institute.
According to Elemo, the blueprint is designed to reduce unemployment and stimulate economic activities through value addition to raw materials of relative advantage in the nation’s 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs).
“We have carried out a comprehensive survey on raw materials of relative abundance in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria; we have identified FIIRO technologies that are suitable for processing the raw materials for establishment of micro, small, medium and large enterprises.
“FIIRO has developed over 250 technologies in its 61 years of existence and these technologies could create about 5 million jobs annually directly and indirectly.
“This will ensure economic independence through drastic reduction in imported goods, thereby saving foreign exchange,” Elemo said.
According to her, the institute is prepared to deploy its technologies to support the realisation of the objectives of the government’s Change Agenda.
“Ours is a total technology package including development of process, technologies, machinery and equipment,” she said.
The FIIRO boss said that the institute would ensure effective technology diffusion through effective collaboration with relevant stakeholders including the Nigerian Society of Engineers, Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Fabricators Association of Nigeria (AMEFAN).
Others are the National Association of Small and Medium Enterprise (NASME), National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).
She appealed to the lawmakers to ensure that the institute continued to receive maximum attention from the Federal Government and support for adoption of High Nutrient Density Biscuit and Drink for the National School Feeding Programme.
Elemo also appealed for the establishment of Industrial Enzymes Model Plant, establishment of state-of-the-art Molecular Laboratory and for accreditation of its 50 laboratories.
Responding, Ms Beni Lar, the Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Science and Technology, commended FIIRO for its innovation, professionalism and prudent management of available funds.
“We will make sure important institutions like FIIRO work; we are aware that FIIRO is boosting the conversion of largely available local raw materials in the country and creating job opportunities.
“That is why since 2015, budgetary allocation to it has improved by about 50 per cent and we are willing to do more, given the available resources,” she said.
Lar said that FIIRO, through the years has, had striven to achieve its core mandate of research and development to fast-track the industrialisation of the nation’s economy through better use of raw materials and improved indigenous production technologies.