Prof. (Mrs) Gloria Elemo led a team of scientists and researchers to the Hilltop residence of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo (GCFR) to intimate him on the various landmark achievements of the Institute since the last time he visited FIIRO during his tenure as the President of Ngieria.
The challenge of diversification of the Nigeria economy and youth unemployment cannot be handled by government alone but through strategic partnership with relevant stakeholders. This was revealed by the Director General/CEO of Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr (Mrs.) Gloria N. Elemo at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony with Lions Club during the inauguration and public presentation of Lion Waheed Kadiri as the new District Governor of District 404B-1 on Saturday 20th August 2016, in Abeokuta Ogun State.
As a Guest Speaker during the occasion, Dr Elemo said that the techno-investment opportunities available in FIIRO could save the country billions of naira through reduction on importation of goods that the Institute has the capability to produce indigenously. The DG/CEO gave example of the cassava from which the Institute has developed over 25 commercial products including: high quality cassava flour to produce 20% cassava bread; industrial cassava starch (for pharmaceutical, food, textile and oil industries); glucose syrup to reduce importation of glucose into the country; cassava-based adhesives; industrial enzymes (from cassava peels); cassava-based noodles; amongst others.
Speaking earlier, Senator Adegbenga Kaka a former Deputy Governor of Ogun State who was the Chairman of the event urged the members of the Lions Club to embrace and invest in the indigenous technologies available in the Institute as a means of resolving the paradox of Nigeria’s unemployment crisis. He said FIIRO is about the most important Institution in Nigeria that has the capacity to bail out the nation out of its current economic crisis through diversification of the economy into agriculture and agro-processing.
Lion Waheed Kadiri thanked the DG/CEO of FIIRO and her team members for gracing the occasion and for the beautiful presentation on investment opportunities for diversifying the national economy. He promised that Lions Club will engage fully engage FIIRO on youth empowerment and also in assisting members of Lion Club to set up small and medium enterprises based on FIIRO technologies. The DG/CEO in her closing remarks, called for setting up of an Implementation Committee that should have a target of organizing a program per quarter.
The DG/CEO commended Lion Waheed Kadiri, a town planner for initiating programmes that will outlive his one year tenure of District Governor. Lion Waheed appreciated the enormous potential of FIIRO towards realizing his goal of serving the community through entrepreneurship empowerment.
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The Director-General/CEO of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo has called for the promotion and utilization of indigenous technologies as a means of diversifying and stimulating the development of the national economy.
Dr. (Mrs.) Elemo stated this on Thursday, 11th August, 2016 while receiving the Business Women Wing and the Agriculture Trade Group of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) in a working visit at the Agency.
The Director-General/CEO of the Institute revealed that the technological breakthroughs at the Institute avails the nation an alternative solution to its current economic problems especially now that the federal government is looking into agriculture and solid mineral to diversify the economy.
Also speaking at the event was the Director of Extension & Linkage Department, Dr. Dele Oyeku who advised NACCIMA to explore the various research and development breakthroughs at the Institute and to take advantage of the over 250 technology-based investment opportunities available therein. He asserted that the group would do well to invest in the various technologies available in the Institute amongst which are: Fruit Juice from Nigerian fruits; High Quality Cassava Flour; High Quality Cassava Starch; Odorless Fufu Flour; Cassava Chips; Cassava-based Adhesives; Cassava-based Macaroni; Instant Pounded Yam Flour; Frozen Yam Chips; Potato Flour; Potato Chips; Vegetable Oil Extraction; Edible Cashew Kernel; Ginger Powder; Hair & Body Pomade; Ground Rice; Zobo Drink; Kunu Drink; Bottle Palm wine; Fish Smoking; Mushroom Cultivation; Black Soap and a host of others.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman, Agricultural Trade Group, NACCIMA, Asiwaju Olaitan Alabi who is also the National Vice President, NACCIMA spoke about creating awareness amongst members and sensitizing the public on the Institute’s activities that are in line with the federal government’s agenda of exploring the agriculture sector as an alternative to the oil to boast the economy.
His colleague, the Chairman of the of the Business Women Group (NAWORG), Iyalode Alaba Lawson who was represented by Chief (Mrs.) Nana Okunribido, the Vice President, South West, Women Group hinted about the group’s readiness towards developing women entrepreneurs and adding value to business communities in collaboration with FIIRO.
Mrs. Feyi Otokiti, who represented the Acting Director-General of NACCIMA expressed readiness of the association and its various groups to collaborate with FIIRO to ensure maximum deployment of indigenous technologies to diversify the national economy.
The Director-General, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo responded saying that members of NACCIMA have contributed immensely to the economy in the fields of commerce, agriculture, mines and industry describing them as movers and shakers of the national economy. She assured the two groups of maximum support from the Institute on all their activities and programmes that will promote commerce and industrialization for job and wealth creation.
On Wednesday, 31st August, 2016, the Director-General/CEO, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi led a delegation of FIIRO management team on courtesy visit to the Ooni of Ife, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Ojaja II. The DG/CEO in her opening remarks congratulated the Ooni of Ife on his installation as the Ooni of Ife and wish him divine wisdom as he leads the entire Yoruba Kingdom. She commended the Ooni for His economic empowerment initiative for youth and women most especially the widows through the Ife Youth Agropreneurship Programme with emphasis on agriculture and agro-processing.
Commenting further, the Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo said this initiative could not have come at a more appropriate time than now when the federal government is focusing on agriculture and agro-processing to diversify the national economy in the wake of dwindling oil revenue. She was of the opinion that this great intervention by His Imperial Majesty will go a long way at addressing the problem of economic recession in the country, create sustainable employment and alleviate poverty. The DG/CEO presented a brief on the activities of the Institute since inception in 1956. She said the Institute has developed over 250 technologies since inception and has worked virtually on all agro-commodities in Nigeria processing them to shelf stable products for commercialization by the micro, small, medium and large enterprises. Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo said that the Institute would give technical support to ensure the success of the Ife Youth Agropreneurship Programme.
His Imperial Majesty in his response said that his believe in a better Nigeria is reaffirmed by the presentation by the DG/CEO FIIRO and assured that Nigeria will recover from the present economic challenges. He said he had wondered how the Ife Youth Agropreneurship Initiative would achieve success but he has seen a perfect partner in FIIRO to achieve his dream for the Initiative. The Ooni promised to be a mouth piece for FIIRO and to market the Institute where it matters both home and abroad. He further said that the country need to engage its citizens, particularly the youths in human capacity building and empowerment programmes to be able to achieve the expected economic growth.
Oba Ogunwusi commended the DG/CEO and the management team for the good work and the readiness to partner with the palace on the proposed economic empowerment programme. He urged local, state and federal government to partner with FIIRO to ensure rapid industrialization of Nigeria through promotion and utilization of indigenous technologies. His Majesty advised Nigerians of all cadre both low and high to patronize made in Nigeria goods so as to reduce dependence on imported goods, stimulate local production, and conserve foreign exchange.
In his concluding remarks, His Imperial Majesty gave his Royal blessing to the Institute, promised to engage the Institute annual on the Ife Youth Agropreneurship Summit. Earlier, the DG/CEO FIIRO presented a plaque to His Imperial Majesty as a mark of honor to register the visit of the Institute to the palace. The Ooni in return presented a large portrait of an African woman to the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo and proclaimed her “Mama Africa”.
The 19th Nigerian Economic Summit was held between September 3-5, 2013, at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. The central theme of the summit was Growing Agriculture as a Business to Diversify Nigeria’s Economy. The summit was used as a platform to evaluate the Agricultural Transformation Agenda of the federal government with the aim of ensuring that its potential translates into job creation, food security, social security and economic diversification. All the specific sectorial indicators that can crystallize the expected change were extensively considered with the following critical outcomes:
- Financing agribusiness to ensure a successful industry transformation: government has to put in place policies that will encourage access to funding from banks through cooperative societies. Practitioners in the industry need to develop cost-effective agro-specific insurance products.
- Advancing Information and Communication Technology for agriculture: government should implement projects that give incentives to operators to build networks in rural areas. There is need for government to also create an enabling environment for innovation, lower market-entry barriers and increase participation of Nigerian companies in ICT. Commodities Exchanges are considered an effective mechanism for achieving coordination and more efficient markets and as such the Abuja Commodity Exchange needs to be made more functional in addition to establishing electronic warehousing centers in the country.
- Exploring opportunities provided by Science, Research & Development: the new developments around science, research and development offers an opportunity for collaboration on the effective utilization of tropical wheat varieties. The government should put in place a proper channel for administering the Cassava Bread Fund in other to ensure that it gets to the intended beneficiaries. Public Private Partnership in R&D funding is imperative for a faster growth of the agro-allied industry in Nigeria. Government should further strengthen Intellectual Property Rights/Royalties in order to incentivize investment in market driven research.
- Implementing policies and incentives for developing the food and agribusiness industry in Nigeria: government should create visible infrastructure in agricultural communities to elicit interest in agribusiness. There is need for more venture-capital investment in agro-commodities. Government should also fast track the implementation of the staple crop processing zones.
- Sustaining the Agricultural Transformation Agenda: There is need to create a demand - driven Agricultural system that will give rise to a change in the current agribusiness labor composition. Encouraging investment in adaptive power alternatives. Expanding financing of Agriculture to bring about new financing arrangement at low interest rates. There is need for price stabilization, Crop Index Insurance, Setting up of agro-meteorological stations and branding of agricultural products.
FIIRO is expected to play a prominent role in fast tracking the outcomes under Science, Research and Development. The institute is already on the right track given its prominence during the summit at which samples of bread and confectioneries made from HQCF were exhibited along with other R&D products. A good opportunity for collaboration is to partner with the Lake Chad Institute to evaluate the quality of the tropical wheat varieties developed by the institute and its adaptability for use as a substitute for imported wheat.
The current participation of FIIRO in the implementation of the Cassava Bread Fund set up by the federal government is also noteworthy. It gives the institute an opportunity to share its expertise of many years in the utilization of the fund to achieve the government’s projection of broadening the Cassava Value Chain to create jobs, increase the livelihood of cassava growers/processors and the application of science and technology for value addition and higher capacity utilization.
The platform offered by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group for the institute to participate as Co-Chair on its Science and Technology Policy Commission could be well utilized to broaden FIIRO’s interaction/collaboration with the private sector particularly in ensuring that the gains from the 19th Summit remain sustainable for many years to come.
The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, (FIIRO) has entered into a partnership with May and Baker Nigeria Plc with a view to improving healthcare delivery most especially to tackle the pandemic of malnutrition outbreak in the IDPs and to bring succor to over 40 million people suffering from sickle cell disease. The Director-General of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo revealed this during the courtesy visit by May and Baker Nigeria Plc to the Institute on Friday, 2nd September 2016.
Dr Elemo said that the Institute has developed Ready to Use Therapeutic Foods (RUFT) using a combination of indigenous crops to provide alternative to imported pulpy nuts currently in use for the treatment of acute severe malnutrition in Nigeria. She further said that the Institute has developed a nutraceutical product from two indigenous legumes and that the product has been tested scientifically and clinically with high efficacy for management of sickle cell anemia.
The DG/CEO thanked the management of May and Baker Plc for the interest the company has shown in the commercialization of the RUTF and the nutraceutical product. This she said has become imperative because of the urgent intervention required to arrest the rising cases of malnutrition in Nigeria as announced by the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) as well as increasing number of black people suffering from sickle cell disease due to improper and inadequate management.
Speaking at the event was the Director of the Extension and Linkage Department of the Institute, Dr Dele Oyeku who highlighted the mandate, activities and achievements of the Institute to May and Baker Plc team. He said the Institute prides itself as technology provider to the micro, small, medium and large enterprises in Nigeria. As such, the Institute has developed over 250 technologies since inception and has transferred some of these technologies to over 500,000 techno-entrepreneurs who have set up profitable enterprises based on the technologies acquired thereby creating millions of employment through direct and multiplier effect. He drew attention the attention of the May and Baker Plc team to other commercializable technologies at the Institute apart from the RUTF and the nutracetical product earlier promoted.
The May and Baker team commended FIIRO’s management on its various technological breakthroughs saying that the Institute is capable of deploying its technologies to assist in diversifying the economy especially now that most manufacturing concerns in Nigeria are looking inwards into new products development with high content of local raw materials. The team was amazed by the volume of processing machinery and equipment designed and fabricated at the Institute. The Institute was encouraged to maintain standard quality in its machinery design and fabrication in order to make them competitive and of international standard.
He also requested that the Institute should produce pharmaceutical grade starch from corn and cassava as substitute to imported starch used in the pharmaceutical industry.
In her response, Dr. (Mrs.) Elemo said that the Institute has produced various types of starch including modified starches from different sources including cassava, corn, rice, potato etc. She thanked the team for the visit and the collaboration opportunities they presented.
The existing relationship between FIIRO and the private sector got a boost at the Centenary Lecture of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) held on October 3, 2013 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island. The forum provided an opportunity for the Director General of FIIRO to inform the participants of some of the many R&D Technologies that have been developed in FIIRO and the impact they will make on our industrial revolution if they are taken up and commercialized. She therefore made a clarion call on the private sector to partner with the institute to fast track the industrialization of the country by looking inwards for technologies and solutions that provide comparative advantage to those sourced for from outside the country. The response from the participants was positive with some organizations expressing their interest to collaborate with the institute. Other fall outs from the lecture are:
1. Strengthening existing relationship with LCCI
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has evolved as a prominent chamber in the private sector. FIIRO will strengthen its existing working relationship with the chamber in order to ensure that all the relevant sectors of the chamber in which the institute is involved continue to feel its impact.
2. Collaboration with Dangote Group
A channel of communication has been opened between FIIRO and Dangote Group that will lead to both organizations collaborating with each other in the near future to create more jobs for Nigerians.
3. Collaboration with UNIDO
The Country Representative of UNIDO, Dr. Patrick Kormawa, who was present at the forum, expressed the willingness for more collaboration with FIIRO in fast tracking the development of the industrial sector of the Nigerian economy.
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