The Federal Government has disclosed plans to commercialise major research findings in industry, agriculture and other sectors of the economy.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, disclosed this on Monday during a facility tour of Erisco Foods Limited in Lagos.
He said, “We are working towards commercialising all our research findings that are of note, because ideas serve people better when they are converted into products or services.
“When the research findings are commercialised, industrialists in Nigeria can buy them instead of spending money on fresh research. They will also aid in the improvement of the quality of our local products, because the government is determined that henceforth, Nigerians should patronise locally made products.”
Onu expressed satisfaction at the level of investment by the tomato manufacturer, adding, “I am happy that a Nigerian can make the kind of investment made in Erisco Foods because we cannot have food security if we cannot produce locally the things that we need in our homes.”
The minister appealed to local manufacturers to be patient and have faith in the vision of the government to transform the economy, urging the Chairman of Erisco Foods, Chief Eric Umeofia, not to give up hope but to continue to invest since the government had pledged to fully support his efforts.
Onu added, “I don’t want you to think of leaving this country. We will support you. There are so many machines that have not been commissioned; they have to be commissioned so that jobs can be created for our people, because what you are doing is in line with the Federal Government’s vision of providing food and creating jobs.
“Do not shut this place down; when we go back, we will speak to all the people that need to know what you have been doing here. Help will come, no matter how long it takes.”
Umeofia expressed hope that the visit by the minister would translate into adequate support and encouragement from the government.
He added, “This will be a remarkable departure from the current situation where we are experiencing hostile attitude from the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, the Central Bank of Nigeria and others who have been at the forefront of supporting full importation of fake/substandard foods and tomato paste into the country.”