Hunger:  FG  Vows To Use Innovation,  Science,  Technology To Tackle Situation  In Nigeria

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*With 70 per cent processed cassava we can’t look for  Dollar – Minister

By; KELVIN OKPARA,  Enugu 

As the present economic hardship  being faced by Nigerians continues to unabated, the Federal government has said that it’s committed in leveraging on mass  production of cassava, innovation, science, and Technology to combat the hunger and poverty in the land.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche  Nnaji who  stated this in Enugu yesterday, said, “if Nigeria can process 70 per cent of the cassava we cultivate, we  cannot look for dollar in the country again.”

He spoke during the official commissioning ceremony of the Southeast office complex of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research(FIRO) ,  in Enugu.

The minister however,  listed  the various derivatives of cassava to include starch, animal feed, among others, adding that if the country can process 70 per cent of the cassava it produces, it will affect the value of naira.

According to him, ” If Nigeria can process 70 per cent of the cassava we cultivate, we cannot look for dollar  again in this country and it will affect the value of Naira.”

He added that, “Nigeria is the highest producer of Cassava  in the world . We produce about 64 metric tonnes of Cassava yearly 

“First and foremost, I thank the Almighty God for guiding us in achieving this milestone. Under the exemplary leadership of Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai T. Adamu, FIIRO’s Director-General/CEO, FIIRO has made remarkable progress in infrastructural development,” .he said.

He stated that,  “Our nation is blessed with diverse skills and natural resources across all six geopolitical zones, motivating us to extend development beyond urban centres to rural communities.” 

The minister noted that “since innovation is the cornerstone of global economic growth, neglecting it jeopardizes our socio-economic progress. 

“Therefore, we must prioritize the development of innovative technologies to propel Nigeria’s economic diversification away from oil and gas dependency. 

“President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda is committed to leveraging innovation, science, and technology to combat hunger and poverty in Nigeria. 

“This stance rhymes with the global economic landscape, emphasizing innovation as the key to development and compelling us not to lag behind. To this end, the Ministry has recently revised the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2022) and developed additional policies to accelerate technological advancement. 

“As you know, our vision to industrialize Nigeria through Innovation, Science, and Technology has led to the establishment of Technology and Innovation Centers across the six geopolitical zones and Technology Incubation Centers in all states.

” These facilities serve as hubs for stakeholders in the IST ecosystem to foster global competitiveness by harnessing mineral and human resources. 

“Furthermore, our commitment to indigenous technology is evident in our support for establishing Centers of Excellence for Welding Engineering and Technology, aimed at enhancing collaboration between the government and the private sector to drive development in the industry.

“The Southeast region holds significant importance as Nigeria’s industrial hub, motivating the provision of this office facility to support capacity building and enhance productivity through innovative activities.” 

In her address of welcome earlier, Director General/ CEO of FIRRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Jummai T. Adamu,   stated  that it was appropriate to disclose that they were  vigorously pursuing their  broad mandate, which is to “accelerating industrialization in Nigeria” .

She explained that  that the Agency  had over the years developed technologies that have promoted the ideals of entrepreneurship development.

The DG,  added that it  prompted them to take development to all the nooks and crannies of the country  that necessitated the establishment of the zonal offices in the country to harness both mineral and human resources for the advancement of our dear nation innovatively. 

She said  “I am glad to state that the South East zone with it vast entrepreneurial base would be properly harnessed for its industrialization and the country at large through our programmes and activities that would be carried out in this edifice. 

” The development of Nigeria driven by innovation is a most and this region is very critical to it. Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen, as one of the leading Research Institutes in Nigeria, we are resolute to be at the forefront of the fight against the trio evils of poverty, insecurity and unemployment. 

” As such it is imperative to provide and also put in place the necessary infrastructures to carry out these huge tasks successfully.  We are doing this to support the current administration’s resolve to provide fifty Million (50 M) jobs in the next few years through the accelerated impartation of technological, scientific and innovative skills. 

“This will create jobs as well generate wealth geared towards poverty reduction, as we are extending and providing up-to-date infrastructure for accessibility of our services to improve the capacities of our people for economic diversification and self-reliance.”

In a goodwill massage,  the Director General /CEO of Projects Development Institute (PRODA),  Dr. Peter  Ogbobe applauded  the Minister over the steps he has taken to revolutionize research in the country since assumption of office .

The PRODA boss, noted that the step the Minister has taken will go a long way to Fast Track the renewed hope agenda  of the  present administration of president Ahmed Bola Tinubu 

Dr. Ogbobe  noted that Southeast is known for entrepreneurship, stressing that they have a lot of research on the shelf, pointing. out that that Zonal FIRRO office will boost the economy of the geo political zone.

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