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RMRDC: Mamora Amazed at Agency’s R/D Products, Progress

  • Council to save N138bn from production of PVAC for paint before 2025

By Hillary Asemota

The Minister of Science Technology and Innovation (STI), Dr. Adeleke Mamora, on Friday expressed amazement at the humongous progress made by the Raw Materials Research Development (RMRDC) in the development of research products from local raw materials from different parts of the country for the industrial and socio-economic development of Nigeria.

Fielding questions from the media after a guided by the DG of the Council, Prof. Ibrahim Doko, after a working inspection of production facilities at the Council’s production complex, Airport Road in Abuja, he said: “I’m also amazed to see what I’m seeing here today but then there is the saying that it is better to see something once than hear 10 times and of course today, seeing is believing.

“I’m happy to say that even at the twilight of the life of President Muhammadu Buhari Administration, I’m privilege to visit this to place and see all the fabrications and technologies indigenously and creatively designed for large number of local raw materials for the benefit of Nigeria and Nigerians.

The Minister pledged to up the momentum in getting the research products into the market, adding: at each point each fabrication that I saw in the course of this working visit what comes to my mind is getting these products to the market.

Mamora, said: “What are we are doing is to get investors to key in and assist because these are research outputs that we need to take to the market for the benefit of Nigerians and it is also interesting from what I heard from the DG that foreigners are interested in the outputs.

we must appreciate that these are patents and must be protected and so I’m happy to see what I’m what I’m seeing here today and of course the focus on demand and focus on what we have and our own thing and how best we can make them available to the benefit of Nigerians in various ways in industries, agriculture, health and pharmaceuticals.

 “Having, seen this, I’m better informed in terms of what we need to do in terms of support and to our agencies and of course I know that the Muhammadu Buhari Administration has done a lot and as to what used to obtained in the past to see that we increase the budget allocation to STI, particularly in the area of R/D.

“No matter what you have until and unless you apply research and development you cannot get the product to the shelf and I have always said it that the development of any nation is a function of R/D. So, I’m happy with the DG and staff of RMRDC because you have all done well in bringing these technologies and fabrications that will positively impact on Nigerian and the country.

On bridging gap between research and industry, the Minister, reiterated that government is already engaging in multi-purple advocacies, adding that just last week he visited the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) which comprises of MSMEs even as said that the results of R/D must be brought to the door steps of investors and the organized private sector.

Mamora, said: “The Ministry must bring the OPS on board and to showcase what we have done because if that is not done it is like I will always say whatever we are doing that is not known out there is like limping in the dark.

In a brief remark, Doko, underscored that more than 35 projects have been patented and upgraded to pilot plants and presently undergoing commercialization. According to him, these have attracted industrialists and MSMEs for investment adoption and replication with the hope of job and wealth creation, local content development in promotion of the country’s GDP.

He added that with the production of sweetener from stevia plant, the country can now save over N120 billion which was the import bill expended in in 2018 to import 750,000 MT of raw sugar into the country, adding that sweetener from rebaudiana has been found to 300 times sweeter than sugar.

With the growth of the paint industry and the importation of acrylic at N540 million annually, he added that by 2025, over N138 billion will be saved using Polyvinyl Acetate (PVAC) sourced locally from natural rubber to replace acrylic which is an imported component of paint.

While shedding further clarifications, on the public perception of the Council, Mr. Chuks Ngaha, Director Corporate Service Department, said majority of manufacturers in the past worked in isolation.

According to him, there is a perception that government is really not interested in helping the private sector, which is not true, adding that federal government is doing a lot in the development of the manufacturing sector by setting up this Council (RMRDC) and for the first time no government has ever set an organization like RMRDC.

Ngaha, explained that Nigeria is the first country to have this this kind of institution which has the mandate of solely assisting industries for their raw materials, seek it and polish it for use by other sectors.

He said: “Our stakeholders especially in the organized private sector that are interested in what we are doing have already contacted us because the agency has been able to demystify the aura of invincibility of accessing useful raw materials.

“For instance, in the paint industry, the basic raw material like acrylic which was hitherto imported today is now being locally produced and sourced and a lot of people with knowledge can set up paint industry in their homes. It doesn’t have to be humongous.

“RMRDC is following the 10 industrial setting of MAN, we are trying to break the jinx of inaccessibility to raw materials to Nigerians so that it will be easier for more people to come onboard to manufacture and those that are manufacturing will not go underground and so we have stakeholders that are coming onboard to grow the economy.”

However, he acknowledged that new innovation has to pass through the processes of R/D testing and standardization, adding that government through the Council has supported a lot of people, stressing that was made possible because as government is promoting RMRDC activities and mandate.

“We are going to give out services at highly subsidized rates and the quality of service will be high because are not looking at profit and so we are going to dish out the services to the organized private sector and SMEs and so with this is actually a clarion call to most of these people.

“RMRDC is actually making a call to those who think that manufacturing is a tedious ordeal. RMRDC is simplifying all of that by increasing accessibility to high quality industrial inputs through value addition to local raw materials and once that gap is bridged, we are beginning to calculate the increment that the GDP will witness from the activities of manufacturing sector in the country.” Ngaha, said.

On utilization of local raw materials for industrial needs, he said: “We have touched a lot of sectors of the economy even the automobile industry, we are looking at producing high quality premium spirit (ethanol) from the basic raw materials from Sorghum, cassava, etc the process is tedious but we have been able to simplify the process.

“We have been able to extract huge value chain from these local raw materials because we are looking at the industries and now you can drive your car now using brake pad from palm kernel shell and you can eat your snacks from basic rice husks and in the pharmaceutical industry the local syrup can be produced locally from sorghum.

“On bamboo, where we popularize it to the point where you can use to do a lot of things. You can harden bamboo to become stronger than steel and to some it can be consumed by human beings and it can be used as furniture building materials. Everything is bamboo.”

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