News

FIIRO HOSTS FARA EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

A special event took place on Thursday, July 31, 2014 when FIIRO played host to the very first Executive Director of The Forum for Agricultural Research in Africa (FARA), to visit the institute, Dr. Yemi Akinbamijo. The visit was initiated as a follow up to two earlier meetings between him and Director General of FIIRO, Dr. Gloria Elemo in Lagos as well as in South Africa a few months ago. The visit gave FARA Executive Director an opportunity to have a first-hand look at some of the Research and Development Technologies developed in the institute.

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Dr. Akinbamijo also made a presentation on the Systemic Analysis of Africa’s Agricultural Transformation: Extending the frontiers of Africa’s agri-food systems. The heart of the lecture looked at where Nigeria is as of today and where it ought to be compared to advancement in the application of Science and Technology in other African countries. He advocated for a more proactive approach in the use of modern technologies to drive the agricultural sector in other to enhance the food security status of the country. He shared the various experiences he had in some other African countries and how FIIRO can play a leading role in fast tracking a positive change in reducing the food import bill of the country.

Dr. Akinbamijo also mentioned the various channels FARA is making use of to enlighten policy makers on the need to give their full weight to every effort to drive agriculture through STI and put more money in the pocket of African farm businesses. Part of such efforts is the High Level Food Security Study visit being coordinated by FARA, of some policy makers and top government functionaries in selected African states to Cuba. The initiative was muted in order for the delegation to share from the experience of Cuba and how the nation was able to transit from a country that used to experience food shortages to a self-sufficient one.

FARA is also presenting some other platforms through the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) for FIIRO to come on board as a partner with other organizations working with FARA.    

Dr. Gloria Elemo commended the various strategies being adopted by FARA to combat the monster of food shortages in various parts of Africa. She expressed her willingness to make FIIRO a major player in the bid to reverse the trend of spending tons upon tons of foreign exchange on food importation into Africa.

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WAAPP’S (WEST AFRICA AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTIVITY PROGRAMME) SUPPORT MISSION TEAM VISITS FIIRO

On Monday, 11th May, 2015, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi received the West Africa Agricultural Productivity (WAAPP) Supervision/Support Team on a Working Visit. The team was led by Dr. Sheu Salau who is the WAAPP Regional Task Team Leader from the World Bank. Also in the team were: Dr. Lucas Akapa, WAAPP Coordinator from CORAF/WECARD; Prof. Chikwendu   Damain, National Coordinator, WAAPP – Nigeria and Dr. Kadir Osman Gyasi, the National Coordinator, WAAPP – Ghana. 

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Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria N. Elemo, the Director-General/CEO of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) in her welcome address, alluded to the objective of WAAPP team’s visit which was to review the progress of implementation of WAAPP projects with the various collaborating organizations with WAAPP of which FIIRO is a Major stakeholder.

She also stressed that WAAPP-Nigeria has been a very strategic partner to FIIRO because of her mandate most especially in the R&D on food and agro-processing technologies which is in tandem with the objective of WAAPP while stating that no other Institution in Nigeria can serve this purpose better than FIIRO.

She also appreciated WAAPP for the approvals the Institute got from the organization to execute the following projects:

  1. Training in the Six geo-political zones on the following technologies:

      High Quality Cassava Flour

      Odourless Fufu Flour

      Industrial Starch

      Fruit Juice

      Instant Pounded Yam Flour

      Kunu Production and Preservation

      Fish Smoking

      Tomato Processing

      Zobo Production and Preservatio

2. Publication of Promotional documents to enhance information dissemination for enterprise creation.

      Publication of 19 Industrial Profiles on selected agro-processing technologies.

      Booklet on “Industrial Projects Opportunities in 50-agro-processing Technologies in FIIRO.

3. R&D in the following projects:

      Characterization of IPYF produced from selected yam species in yam growing region in Nigeria.

      Development of appropriate process technology for drying fresh tomatoes into powder and its utilization dehydrated source premix for instant stew preparation.

      Production of rice milk and rice crisp from broken rice

      Production of high quality phytase from local substrates for application in animal feeds.

      Development of process technology for dehydration of mango powder and leather

Dr. Sheu Salau (Regional WAAPP Task TeamLeader, World Bank), in his address stressed that FIIRO is a very serious result-driven institution and alluded to the fact that WAAPP and FIIRO have a lot in common thereby assuring FIIRO of the readiness of World Bank and WAAPP to collaborate with her. He also promised to link the Institute with various other donor organizations that are relevant to efficient and effective delivery on its mandate.

The team made the following comments, observations and suggestions:

  • FIIRO to use geographical spread of WAAPP as a platform to publicize its R&D breakthroughs.
  • FIIRO to partner more with industry most especially key players in the food and pharmaceutical industries.
  • FIIRO to collaborate with Ministries of Health and Industry on its High Nutrient Density Biscuit and Drinks for school feeding programme which is a priority programme of the incoming government.
  • FIIRO to work with Commercial Agriculture Department of World Bank especially in the area of packaging and to engage more Donor organizations to fund the Institute’s R&D projects.
  • The need to engage Corporate Marketers and Consultants to market the Institute R&D output to industries.
  • The need to work more with organizations that support agriculture and agro-processing such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Agriculture (BoA) etc.
  • The need to address some of the policies hindering the operations of the Institute through the reviewed Act establishing the Institute.
  • The need for continuously emphasis on the opportunities that exist at the Institute for enterprise promotion and development and to embark on aggressive commercialization of the Institute’s numerous R&D results
  • The need for more regional collaboration with relevant institutions.
  • The need for the Institute to begin to see opportunities in its current challenges and to properly package such to reposition the Institute strategically for the incoming administration.

The DG/CEO in her closing remarks thanked the team for their various comments and suggestions and promise that she would set up a committee to look at the various suggestions with a view to implementing them to enhance the performance of the Institute to make it to deliver effectively and efficiently on its mandate.

Finally, the team expressed satisfaction in the Institute’s activities and leadership and concluded that the Institute has all it takes to execute all the approved WAAPPP projects. 

 

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FIIRO HOLDS CASSAVA BREAD RECIPE CONFIRMATION EXERCISE

It is a common knowledge that there are many recipes for cassava bread developed by various institutions in Nigeria. Some have come up with cassava bread recipe including egg, milks etc which make such recipes unprofitable and more importantly unsustainable. The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development has sponsored many trainings for Master Bakers with each training institution sometimes using their own recipes to train. This has raised the issue of standardization of recipes which the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development bought into and directed the Institute to carry out Cassava Bread Recipe Confirmation Exercise with all stakeholders in attendance with a view to evolving a national recipe for cassava bread.

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This exercise was carried out at FIIRO on Thursday, 14th August, 2014. In attendance at the programme are:

  • Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr. Abdu Bulama ably represented by Dr. Okujagu- the Director-General/CEO, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency.
  • Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina ably represented by Mrs. Medinat Adetunji, the Senior Technical Adviser to the Hon. Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
  • Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
  • Director-General/CEO- National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
  • Director-General/CEO-Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON).
  • Director-General/CEO-Consumer Protection Council, Nigeria.
  • Executive Secretary, Flour Milling Association of Nigeria.
  • Country Manager, Casava: Adding Value for Africa.
  • National President Master Bakers Association.
  • Lagos State Chairman of Master Bakers Association.
  • National President Nigerian Cassava Growers’ Association.
  • Lagos State Chairman of Nigerian Cassava Growers’ Association.
  • President, Nigerian Institute of Food Science and Technology.
  • President, National Cassava Processors and Marketers Association.
  • Director-General, National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industries, Mines and Agriculture.
  • Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
  • Fifty Master Bakers.

After the opening ceremony, the technical session commenced with 50 bakers and two representatives of the Flour Milling Association of Nigeria for baking exercise. Cassava bread was baked at various levels of inclusion including 10%, 15% and 20% even though 20% level of inclusion has been agreed by all stakeholders as sustainable level of inclusion.

This exercise was a-week long programme to provide answers to all frequently asked questions on cassava bread through shelf life study; chemical and microbiological analyses; sensory evaluation; rheological and physical properties tests; glycemic index (GI) study and so on. 

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FIIRO AT UBULU-UKU YOUTHS EMPOWERMENT PROGRAMME

On Saturday, 13th June, 2015, the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo honored the invitation of the Ubulu-Uku Youths Association, Delta State (Lagos Branch) to chair its 2015 Ubulu-Uku Youths Assembly at Piccadilly Suites & Hotels, Lekki-Lagos. The DG/CEO in her opening remarks said youths are the bedrock of any national economic development. She was of the opinion that the way we handle this vibrant, energetic group of people can make or mar our nation.

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She further said that the major problem confronting the youths today is that of unemployment with about 1.8 million youths entering the labor market every year.

The DG/CEO noted that in developing economies like Nigeria, government is the largest employer of labour but recent employment indices have indicated that government alone cannot carry all the burden of employment generation.

She therefore, suggested that the best way to go now is to encourage our youths to develop entrepreneurial culture with assertion that entrepreneurship has been well acknowledged all over the world as the surest way for massive job creation.

The Keynote Speaker at the occasion, Dr. Chris Ogbechie of Pan African University/Lagos Business School and the Chairman of Diamond Bank spoke extensively on “Investments Opportunities and Job Creation for the Youths”.

The DG/CEO in her closing remarks introduced the participants to “Investments Opportunities Available at FIIRO for Youths Enterprise Development”. She concluded by saying that the Institute is willing to admit 50 of the youths who participated at the programme into the Institute’s National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Programme with major objective of youths and women empowerment. 

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FIIRO HOLDS ROUNDTABLE SCIENTIFIC MEETING ON NUTRACEUTICALS AND MANAGEMENT OF SICKLE CELL DISEASE

About 5% of the world’s population is affected with haemoglobin disorders with an estimated 300,000 babies born with severe haemoglobin disorders annually in Africa and about 150,000 of them are Nigerians. Statistics have also shown that over 40 million Nigerians are sickle cell gene carriers.

To ameliorate the suffering of the people suffering from sickle cell disease, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi initiated a programme on development of nutraceutical products (Food supplement) and has developed some novel nutraceutical products suitable for the management of sickle cell anaemic condition.

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In order to enhance the development of the products, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi in collaboration with Temitayo Awosika Help Foundation organized a Roundtable Scientific Meeting to subject the products to expert critique on Tuesday, 19th August, 2014 at Akinrele International Auditorium, FIIRO. The theme of the meeting is “Improving Sickle Cell Anemia Management- The Nutraceutical Approach”

The Meeting was well attended by distinguished experts; some of which are:

  • The Chairman of the occasion

Mr. Sule Ozenua – Chairman, Temitayo Awosika Help Foundation (TAHF)

  • Keynote Speakers:
    • Prof. Francis O. Shode, Durban University of

Technology, South Africa;

  • Dr. Paul Orhii- the Director-General/CEO, NAFDAC.
  • Dr. Olu Awosika – Founder, TAHF and Chief Medical Director, Med-In Specialist Hospital.
  • Chairman of the Technical Session

Professor K. Shingu Gamaniel, the Director-General/CEO, Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development.

  • Technical Paper Presenters:
    • Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo, DG/CEO FIIRO.
    • Viola Nwachukwu
    • Ochuko L. Enukainure
    • Special Guests of Honour
      • Professor Ka’oje Abubakar, Former Minister, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
      • Dr. ‘Leke Pitan, Former Commissioner of Health, Lagos State.
      • Prof. Akin Osibogun, Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).
      • Dr. Okujagu, DG/CEO, Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency.
      • Distinguished invited experts present at the meeting include:
        • Dr. Bazuaye G.N

University of Benin Teaching Hospital,

Benin, Edo State.

  • Prof. Awodu A

University of Benin Teaching Hospital,

Benin, Edo State.

  • Dr. Ocheni Sunday

UNTH, Enugu,

Enugu State.

  • Dr. Ogbe O

National Hospital,

Abuja, FCT.

  • Dr. Anthony Oyekunle

OAUTH, Ife,

Osun State.

  • Prof. M.O Kehinde

Department of Medicine,

LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos

  • Dr. Sola Olowoseku

Department of Medicine,

LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos

  • Dr. A. Adediran

Department of Medicine,

LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos

  • Prof. Chris Bode

              LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos.

  • Dr. K.S Okunade

              LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos.

  • Dr. Solanke Ayomide

Department of Medicine,

LUTH, Idi-Araba, Lagos

  • Dr. (Mrs.) D.N Dike

              FIIRO

  • Dr. Kenneth U. Nwaeze

              Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry

              University of Lagos, Lagos.

  • Dr. C.C Igwe

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Dr. (Mrs) O.B Oluwole

FIIRO

  • Dr. (Mrs) Funmi Oladunmoye

FIIRO

  • Dr. (Mrs.) Oyin Olaokun

              FIIRO, Lagos.

  • Dr. Oluwatoyin Taiwo

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Dr. T.M Balogun

Department of Haematology,

Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH),

Ikeja, Lagos.

  • Dr. Awagu Elizabeth

              NAFDAC, Lagos

  • Dr. Bassey Isangedighi

              NAFDAC, Lagos.

  • Dr. Chris Adewale

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Dr. Asoro Iro

Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, Lagos

  • Dr. I.A Akinbami

Department of Haematology,

Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH),

Ikeja, Lagos.

  • Dr (Mrs.) Ngozi Imaga

              Department of Biochemistry,

              LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos.

  • Dr. Dosunmu Adedoyin

Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Lagos

  • Prof. Martins

Nigerian Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development.

  • Dr. A.K Lawal

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Dr. Oribayo Funke

              LUTH, Idi Araba, Lagos.

  • Prof. Philip Olatunji

              Shagamu, Ogun State

  • Prof. Akinsete

              Ajah, Lagos.

  • Mordi J.I

FIIRO, Lagos.

  • Dr. Chika Ezeanyanso

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Dr. Ajani S.A

              FIIRO, Lagos

  • Kunle Opakunle

              President, TAHFClub

The meeting ended on a very good note and concluded that FIIRO SC1 presents a great potential for the well being of people suffering from sickle cell disease as well as recommended further work on anti-sickling study; toxicological, microbiological and stability profiling; as well as pharmaco-kinetics study.

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DANGOTE GROUP VISITS FIIRO

The Group President/CEO, Dangote Group ably represented by two Principal Officers of the Group; namely, Ms Zouera Youssoufou, the President of Dangote Foundation and Mr. Tony Chiejina, the Head, Media and Communication visits the Institute on courtesy visit on Friday, 12th June, 2015.

The DG/CEO in her welcome address described the visit as one visit she has always looked forward to because Dangote Group is one partner that cannot be ignored because of the Group’s large investment in Food processing, a core mandate of the Institute.

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The DG/CEO recalled that the Institute first official contact with the Dangote Group was on Tuesday, 5th November, 2013 when the Institute made a courtesy visit to Dangote Group; and econdly, on 8th April, 2015 when the Institute was invited to discuss Onion project with the Dansa Foods (a subsidiary of the Dangote Group).

The DG/CEO indentified the following as general possible areas of collaboration with Dangote Group:

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Programme notably on Youth and Women Economic Empowerment Programme at Local, State and Federal Levels by leveraging on the Institute’s various Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship Development Training programmes for job creation which Dangote Group is noted for.
  • New Product Development or Innovation based on indigenous agro-commodities of relative advantage in Nigeria.
  • Contract Research on projects of strategic importance.
  • Enrichment of the Dangote Group’s Training School Programme - Foundry, Welding, Electroplating, Machining skills etc.
  • Development of Tripartite Partnership arrangement with the Institute’s national, regional and international partners on specific projects of interest (e.g. Waste management programme with Lancaster University, Food and Environment Safety with the University of Central Lancashire).
  • Staff Retirement Planning through Pre-retirement Entrepreneurship Training Programme.

Upon enumerating the general areas of collaboration, the DG/CEO then zeroed into specific projects by inviting Dangote Group to partner with the Institute on the following projects:

  • Industrial Enzyme programme bearing in mind that there is no local enterprise for industrial enzymes production despite the huge potential of this project in Nigeria in terms of raw materials and market potentials.
  • High Nutrient Density Biscuits and Drinks for School Feeding Programme.
  • Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for management of acute malnutrition.
  • Building of Entrepreneurship Complex to be branded “Dangote Entrepreneurship Complex”.

After the opening/welcome speech, the DG/CEO made a detailed presentation on the activities of the Institute since inception enumerating the Institute’s achievements on its R&D projects and job creation through its over 250 technologies that are relevant in all the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria.

The President of Dangote Foundation, Ms. Zouera Youssoufou in her response commended the Institute on its many breakthroughs in its areas of R&D focus. She said projects on High Nutrient Density Biscuits and Drinks for School Feeding Programme and Ready-to-Use-Therapeutic Food (RUTF) for management of acute malnutrition readily cut her attention and she will like to get Dangote Group involved on those projects through the Dangote Foundation. She however, promised to come back for further technical meeting with the technical group on how best the projects could be handled.

Mr. Tony Chiejina welcomed the idea of having a branded Entrepreneurship Centre at the Institute by the Dangote Group and promised that the duo shall make appropriate recommendations to the relevant authority at Dangote Group to ensure a working and beneficial partnership.

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FIIRO GALVANIZES FOCUS ON INDUSTRIALIZATION & MSME DEVELOPMENT THROUGH INVESTMENT AND TECHNOLOGY WEEK 2014

In a bid to direct further attention on industrialization of the country through MSME development, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) organized an Investment and Technology Week held between 14th & 17th October, 2014.

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The Investment and Technology week was conceived by the Institute in order to achieve the following;

(i) To show case the Institute’s over 250 developed technologies and how they can become useful in the 774 Local Government Areas in Nigeria to create jobs and reduce unemployment drastically;

(ii) To bring together stakeholders in the commercialization of R&D results such as; captains of industry, investment promotion agencies, technology providers, MSME support institutions, financial institutions, development partners, policy makers, investors, youth organizations and NGOs amongst others in a bid to transfer these technologies into the marketplace; 

(iii) Create opportunities for setting-up about 2,500 – micro, small and medium enterprises. To generate more than 250,000 jobs and attract about $575M Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria within the next one year.

OPENING

The week-long event was declared open on Tuesday, October 14, 2014, by His Excellency Arch. Namadi Sambo GCON, Vice President, Federal Republic of Nigeria who represented the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, GCFR.

Dignitaries in attendance at the opening ceremony include the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment, Dr. Olusegun Aganga, Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Oba Otudeko CFR, Chief Olabode George, and a host of others.

The Chief Host and Minister FMST, Dr. Abdu Bulama was represented by the Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita. The Chairman of the Governing Board of FIIRO, Dr. Alex Obi and other members of the Board were also in attendance.

As part of activities marking the week, beneficiaries of FIIRO technologies exhibited their products and services to the public. Financial institutions such as the Bank of Industry (BoI) and Reg-Charles Finance & Capital Limited were also on ground. Sister agencies such as the Raw Materials Research & Development Council (RMRDC), Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency (NNMDA) and Nigeria Building & Road Research Institute (NBRRI) participated in the exhibitions. Other exhibitors from Nigerian Association of Small & Medium Enterprises (NASME), Technology Incubation Centre Lagos, Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) also took part in the event. Others include Honeywell Flourmills, Niji Foods, Hicmann, Nigeria Cassava Growers Association (NCGA), Survival Food Nigeria Limited, Remita, S. Addis Agricultural Engineering Ltd., Mutosefiti farms etc.

On display at the exhibition pavilion were products, machineries and equipment for the processing of a wide array agro-produce. There were 87 companies in all that participated in the exhibition with 50 of them representing direct beneficiaries of FIIRO’s developed technologies.

DEPARTMENTAL DAYS

The Technical Departments in the institute were assigned specific days to showcase the technologies developed by each of the departments and their viability for industrial scale up.

PDD DAY

The Project Development & Design (PDD) department had a demonstration session on Tuesday, October 14, 2014 of the various equipment prototypes it has in stock for the food and agro-allied industry. There was a Technical Session to discuss the theme: “Prototype equipment development for the growth of MSMEs for industrialization”. The event attracted engineering practitioners, technologists and fabricators.

The Keynote Speaker was Engr. (Dr.) Samson Makinwa, CEO, Techno-Quip Ltd, who lamented the under-funding of most research institutions and the failure to commercialize many ground-breaking inventions. He stated that there are equipment prototypes that are locally designed and fabricated by both government agencies and private engineering concerns that can be used to engage the Nigerian unemployed population with an amazing outcome. He also identified non-availability of fabrication materials, incessant power outages, lack of patronage and support from government as some of the challenges militating against the local production of equipment prototypes. He therefore advocated that the power sector be revamped immediately for optimum performance if Nigeria is to rank among the top 20 economies of the world by the year 2020. In conclusion, he identified low interest bank loans and support for local fabricators through the provision of incentives and waivers as some of the other means by which fabricators could be assisted.

INVESTMENT DAY

The role of research institutions in the socio-economic development and wellbeing of the nation came to the fore during the Investment Day which was held on Wednesday October 15, 2014. The theme for the day was; Technology & Innovation for Entrepreneurship and MSME Development.

Speakers and discussants were drawn from the academia, organized private sector and research institutions. The lead paper titled: The role of technology and innovation in entrepreneurship development for job creation in the 21st century was presented by Dr. Willie Siyanbola, Associate Professor Centre for Energy Research & Development (CERD), and immediate past Director General/CEO  National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM), Obafemi Awolowo University, (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State. Dr. Siyanbola’s paper essentially identified the conditions for economic growth as synergy, transferability of innovation and relevance. He suggested the Triple Helix Approach (THA), whereby government through its agencies and parastatals collaborate and work closely with the academia/research institutions and industry for economic growth and development.

Discussants then took turn to share their opinions on the topic. The session was chaired by the Director General of National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Umar Bindir.

The second paper presentation on the topic; Financing innovation and sustainable policies for locally developed technologies to industries in Nigeria was delivered by Mr. Rasheed Olaoluwa, the Managing Director of Bank of Industry. He identified four major avenues for financing new innovations as owner’s equity, friends, family and retained profits. Of the four avenues so identified, he stated that the role played by venture capitalists, Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and grants are key to the success of MSMEs involved in new innovations and technologies.

Mr. Olaoluwa noted that BoI has been in the forefront of DFIs financing MSMEs by way of equity contribution as well as provision of short term to long term financing. He also noted that policies play a role in setting the parameters by which actors take decision about learning, investment and innovation. He further observed that when it comes to financing innovation and local technologies, there is a noticeable gap in government policies and research. His recommendation was that government needs to formulate policies that will encourage private sector participation in the financing of innovative ideas and this should be targeted at the creation of more venture capitalists to assist existing DFIs. Policies such as low interest loans to venture capitals that support small businesses, financial incentives such as tax waivers, equity guarantees, and loan guarantees to Technology Based Firms were also recommended for consideration in government’s policy direction.    

FOOD DAY

In commemoration of the World Food Day on Thursday, October 16th, 2014, the Food Technology Department in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute of Food Science Technology (NIFST) brought together experts and professionals in food and nutrition security to discuss its keynote presentation in an interactive panel discussion. The theme was; Food, Health and Wealth, with special attention on Convenience Foods. Invited dignitaries and guests included Chief Olusegun Osunkeye who chaired the event, Prof. Gbenga Ogunmoyela of Bells University, Prof. Lateef Sanni, President NIFST and a host of others. The keynote Speaker called for the fortification and enrichment of convenience foods in order to meet up with dietary needs and requirements. He also stressed the importance of proper nutrition at all ages, stating that full mental capacity may never be attained where there are deficiencies in dietary requirements. He then called on food processors and manufacturers of convenience foods to consider portability, taste, appropriateness, smell and cost of convenience foods in relation to the consumer and the immediate environment.

On the panel of discussants were Dr. Kenny Acholonu of Bio-organics Nutrients System Limited, Dr. Mani Rabe, Deputy Country Representative of FAO, Mr. Larry Umunna, Country Director, GAIN Nigeria, Dr. Rasaki Sanusi of University of Ibadan, Mr. Duro Kuteyi of Spectra Industries, and Mr. Dayo Adeniyi of Honeywell Flour Mills. They all took turns to share their views on the theme for the day.

CFET DAY

The Chemical Fibre and Environmental Technology Department (CFET) also had its day on the 16th of October, 2014. A Technical Session was held on the theme; National Industrial Revolution Plan: The Role of R & D’. The Speaker was Engr. Oladipo Odunjinrin, a Special Assistant to the Honorable Minister of Industry, Trade & Investment. The occasion was chaired by Mr. Bayo Oshobo who represented Dr. Frank. S. Udemba-Jacobs, President Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN). Engr. Odujirin spoke on the impact of industrialization, which in his view includes the creation of national wealth, increased employment, improvement in the standard of living and promotion of export.

He also explained that the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP) is a programme designed to industrialize Nigeria.  It is the Nation’s first comprehensive, integrated and strategic roadmap to industrialization. The NIRP will create wealth, job opportunities, improve the country’s trade balance, and increase tax revenue. He also mentioned the issue of low funding, low utilization of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) and low level of commercialization as part of constraints in promoting R & D through industrialization.

A second session on Investment Opportunities in FIIRO’s Non-Food R & D was facilitated by 3 presenters – Ms. Oluwaseun Ishola, Engr. Folake Oyewole and Ms. Adunola Bello. Ms. Ishola spoke on Investment opportunities in Pulp and Paper, while Engr. Oyewole spoke on both Investment opportunities in the chemical & agro-allied sector and in the polymer & textile sector. Ms. Bello concluded with a presentation on the Investment opportunities in Packaging.

BIOTECHNOLOGY DAY

Stakeholders have identified innovation and entrepreneurship as key components for industrialization and wealth creation. This much was revealed during the Biotechnology Day on Friday October 17, 2014. In his key note presentation on the theme; Innovation and Entrepreneurship as Key for Wealth Creation and National Industrialization, Dr. Augustine Okoruwa of GlaxoSmithKline stated that in addition to basic commodities, the demand for high value crops and processed products has increased due to a rapidly expanding global market. The increase in demand for safe, higher value and differentiated agricultural products has created opportunities for farmers and entrepreneurs in agribusiness. He also explained that consumer demand for high quality and safer convenience foods has led to a differential in prices between consumer food products and farm produce. Collectively these changes contribute to a shift in the way food is produced, processed and sold and ultimately this results in increased waste generation and the urgent need for its proper management. The session was chaired by Prof. Lucy Ogbadu, Director General of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).

CLOSING

The curtains came down on the FIIRO Investment and Technology week on the 17th October, 2014 with a colourful closing ceremony that was witnessed by special guests, beneficiaries of FIIRO technologies, representatives of the organized private sector and members of staff.

Chairperson of the closing ceremony, Mrs. Winifred Oyo-Ita urged participants to buy into FIIRO’s technologies. The DG/CEO in her closing remarks emphasized that the purpose for which the investment and technology week was conceived would be fully achieved if entrepreneurs and would be investors partner with FIIRO to commercialize all its developed technologies.

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DG RECEIVES ARCN/WAAPP TECHNICAL REFORM COMMITTEE (TRC)

On Wednesday, 5th August, 2015, the Director-General/CEO and the management of the Institute received the Technical Reform Committee of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria (ARCN). The Committee was led by Prof. E.O Oyedipe with Prof. O.D Ajakaiye (former Director-General/CEO of the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, NISER) and Mrs. Kehinde Ajoni (Former Federal Permanent Secretary) as members.


The DG/CEO in her opening remarks said the Institute is well informed about the purpose of the visit which was to get input of stakeholders towards repositioning and reforming the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria to ensure efficient and effective National Agricultural Research System (NARS).

Furthermore, she expressed delight that FIIRO was selected as one of the stakeholders to make input in achieving the desired transformation. She assured the team that the Institute has given a close attention to the various indicators highlighted in the interview guide sent by the Committee as input for consideration in achieving the desired transformation.

The DG/CEO opined that the NARS is working especially providing research input to enhance agricultural output but admitted that a lot still need to be done in the area of strategic partnership with relevant organizations such as the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi which has express mandate in food and agro-allied processing technologies to convert efficiently agro outputs to shelve stable products with a view to reducing postharvest losses estimated at about 40% for agro outputs in Nigeria. 

Prof. E.O Oyedipe in his contribution asserted that FIIRO is a critical Institute for product development and agro-processing without which much cannot be achieved in agro-value chain development. He observed that the major challenge facing agricultural growth in Nigeria is lack of coordination of National Research Institutes (NARIs) across the country and that he believes that the current effort being championed by the Technical Reform Committee of ARCN will address this challenge.

A critical issue that was raised and discussed during the meeting to ensure genuine reform is sustainable policy that will outlive any government or individual Director-General or Executive Director and this requires developing a system that is collaborative where the policy-making process is democratized to ensure full participation.

On a final note, the visiting team commended the leadership of the Institute with a comment that “FIIRO operates professionally”.

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