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NATIONAL SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAM, FMST/FIIRO – NASCO - INTERHERITAGE COLLABORATION

A team of highly experienced technical staff of NASCO Foods Limited, Jos visited the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi on Wednesday, 13th January, 2016 at the instance of the Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for further discussion on the collaborative effort on the National School Feeding Programme. The team was received on arrival by the DG/CEO of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria N. Elemo and some other top management staff of the Institute including: Director, Chemical, Fibre and Environmental Technology - Dr. Chima Igwe; Director, Food Technology - Dr. (Mrs.) Toyin Oluwole and Director, Extension & Linkage -Dr. Dele Oyeku. On NASCO team were: Technical Director -Alh. Bala Saleh; Supply Chain Director - Alh. Mohammed Shakir; Marketing Manager - Mr. James Iwunze; Category Brand Manager- Mr. Gbolahan Oyenuga and Mr. Haruna Harry Audu – Legal Adviser.


The visit was in respect of the collaborative effort of FMST/FIIRO – NASCO for commercial production of High Nutrient Density (HND) Biscuit developed by FMST through FIIRO for the School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government. The HND biscuit is developed to meet one third Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) requirements of school age children to be produced on commercial basis by NASCO Foods Limited. According to the DG/CEO, FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo, the collaboration is going to be win- win for all the parties involved and the benefit is enormous from the angle of utilization of indigenous raw materials in the formulation of the biscuits; conservation of foreign exchange; creation of jobs and improvement in enrolments of school children as well as enhancement of mental capacity of the children.

For NASCO team, the decision to partner with FIIRO in the commercial production of the HND Biscuit for the school feeding program was based on FIIRO’s integrity and achievements over the years. The team mentioned that NASCO as an indigenous company has been in existence for about 50years and has the capacity and experience to produce biscuit products to feed estimated 25million children under the National School Feeding Programme on daily basis.

Mr. Patrick Usen of InterHeritage Promotions, another partner in the collaboration, highlighted the negative implications of food being cooked directly by local caterers as a method of home grown school feeding as being embraced by some states in Nigeria. He said that the world best practices should be embraced as being championed by the FMST/FIIRO-NASCO-InterHeritage collaboration.

At the end of the technical session, timelines were drawn for some of the major activities including MoU signing (Wednesday, 20th January, 2016); Commencement of pilot trial runs on NASCO Biscuit production lines (Wednesday, 27th January, 2016); Stakeholders’/Consultative Forum (Thursday, 25th February, 2016) and Product Launch on Thursday, 28th April, 2016.

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FMST AT 2016 OFFSHORE WEST AFRICA YOUTH EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMME

The Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was ably represented by the DG/CEO, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo at the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition held at Eko Hotel & Suites between 26th - 28th January, 2016 held under the auspices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and endorsement of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).

The Offshore West Africa Youth Employment Programme (YEP) is an important component of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition, an initiative owned by PenWell and designed by Lonadek in collaboration with the Energy Institute. At the event, the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu gave a keynote address at the opening ceremony, presented a Ministerial speech on Youth Employment Programme during the Youth Employment Programme Session and declared the exhibition open.

He was conducted round the Exhibition Hall by the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Company, Mr. Bayo Ojulari. During the Ministerial Speech on YEP, the Hon. Minister reinstated the need to diversify the economy in the light of dwindling oil revenues especially through agriculture with particular emphasis on agro- and solid mineral processing by employing over 1000 indigenous technologies developed at the 17 parastatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. He further said that the technologies developed by the 17 parastatals under the supervision of his Ministry have been found to have applications in all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria and could create millions of job if deployed effectively.

The Hon. Minister encouraged the youths and the organizers to look beyond establishing and developing careers in energy, power and hydrocarbons. On this note, the Hon. Minister therefore, invites the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria to partner with the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and its parastatals like the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi on sustainable, holistic Youth Empowerment Programme that will lead to massive job creation and bring to the barest minimum the unemployment rate in Nigeria.

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FIIRO PARTNERS SAMDPIN MARITIME LIMITED ON TECHNO-ENTREPRENEURSHIP TRAINING FOR UNEMPLOYED YOUTH.

Samdpin Maritime Limited partnered with the Institute under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Initiative to train 30 unemployed youths who are repentant militants. The training took place at the Little Paradise Hotel, Effurun, Delta State from 8th January to 10th January, 2016. The participants were grouped into three groups based on their technologies of interest. The three technologies are: Fish Smoking, Cassava Processing and Fruit Juice production. The technologies were carefully selected based on raw materials of relative abundance in Delta State and ease of setting up by participants after the training.


Apart from the technical component, the participants were also exposed to the management component of entrepreneurial skill so that they will be able to set up and manage their enterprises with relative ease. The management modules include: Product Marketing; Product Cost Element; Productivity Improvement and Starting and Managing Business. Both the organizer and the participants expressed their profound appreciation to the Institute for the well packaged programme that gave the participants the opportunity to produce the products by themselves after demonstration by the instructors. Some of the participants could not contain their joy; they promised to contact the Institute on further steps to take (most especially equipment fabrication and installation) to realizing their ambition to be their own bosses and employers of labour. 

The organizer, i.e. Samdpin Maritime Limited also commended the Institute for effective delivery of the training modules and promised to provide the link between the Institute and the participants until they fully realize their goals of setting up their own enterprises.

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WAAPP - COTE D’IVOIRE VISITS FIIRO ON CASSAVA, PLANTAIN AND CORN PROCESSING TECHNOLOGIES

WAAPP-Nigeria led a 7-man delegation from WAAPP-Cote D’Ivoire (West Africa Agriculture Productivity Programme-Cote D’Ivoire)  to the Institute on Tuesday, 2nd March, 2016 on fact finding mission. The delegation was received by the Director-General/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo and top management of the Institute at a brief ceremony at the Institute’s Board Room. Dr. Adeogun, WAAPP-Nigeria who led the delegation to the Institute said the delegation from Cote D’Ivoire comprises of two officials from WAAPP-Cote D’Ivoire including the Deputy National Coordinator WAAPP-Cote D’Ivoire, Lorng Jean Paul and five Ivorian investors who have shown interest in adopting suitable technologies from Nigeria for commercial processing of Cassava, plantain, Corn and fish.

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The DG/CEO after welcoming the delegation said she is fully aware of the mission of the team which is to identify organizations in Nigeria from where WAAPP-Cote D’Ivoire can assist Cote D’Ivoire investors to acquire processing machinery and equipment for processing of Cassava, Plantain, Fish, Banana and Corn into commercial shelf stable products. She informed the delegation that FIIRO has worked extensively in the areas of plantain, fish, corn and cassava processing with proven process technologies and processing equipment designed and fabricated at the Institute. She also informed the delegation that FIIRO is in constant working relationship with WAAPP-Nigeria on R&D (product development) and youth empowerment training. On this note, the DG/CEO assured the delegation that the Institute has the capacity and capability to meet all their requests through its Technical Assistance Services (TAS) that ensure that all the necessary equipment are fabricated and installed in Cote D’Ivoire by the Institute’s engineers and technologists.

After the brief reception, the delegation proceeded on a guided tour to the Cassava Pilot Plant for practical demonstration on cassava processing into High Quality Cassava Flour, Industrial Starch and Odorless Fufu Powder; Technology Transfer Training Pavilion for practical demonstration on Plantain Flour production and the Institute’s Fish Smoking Bay for practical demonstration on Smoked Fish production. The delegation was very impressed with the facilities at the Institute’s pilot plant and commended the leadership of the Institute. Also, the delegation noted that the Institute has what it takes to solve the problem of industrialization in Africa.

Dr. Adeogun, the visit coordinator thanked the Institute for the opportunity for the technical visit despite very short notice. It was agreed that a follow up and work plan for Nigeria and Cote D’Ivoire would be worked out. Dr. Dele Oyeku, Director- Extension & Linkage also thanked the delegation and promised to be in regular touch until their goals are met.  

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FIIRO TRAINS 50 YOUTHS FROM DELTA STATE

The Institute as part of its efforts to address the issue of unemployment and youths restiveness in the Niger Delta area trained 50 youths from Delta State drawn from Ubulu-Uku Youths Association under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Programme. The 3-day intensive techno-entrepreneurship development training took place at the Institute between Monday, 18th January and Wednesday, 20th January, 2016. The Director-General/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo during the opening ceremony informed the participants that the 3-day techno-entrepreneurship development training is centred on five technologies namely: Fish Smoking; Fruit Juice Production; High Quality Cassava Flour Production; Instant Pounded Yam Flour Production and Bread and Confectioneries baking which have been carefully selected to facilitate smooth take off by participants especially in terms of financial requirements and other logistics required to start an enterprise.

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The DG/CEO further said that it has always being her joy to see youths taking up positions of leadership either in private or public sector though the new thinking and the paradigm shift is now self employment through encouragement and support for the youths to take up the challenge of setting up their own enterprises to become the Dangotes, the Otedolas, of tomorrow.

The Director, Extension & Linkage, Dr. Dele Oyeku in his remarks encouraged the participants to see entrepreneurship as the ultimate means of ending poverty, become employers of labour and legitimate means of becoming wealthy. Dr. C.C. Igwe (Director – CFET); Dr. E.N Dike (Director- Biotechnology); Mrs. Olubunmi Adesanya (Director – PTTIM); Dr. Yemisi Asagbra (Director – PALM); Mr. J.O Oderinde (Director – Finance & Accounts) and Engr. S.K Adeyemi (Head, PDD) also made positive remarks to encourage the participants during the opening ceremony.

At the Closing ceremony on Wednesday, 20th January, 2016, the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G. N Elemo congratulated the participants and encouraged them to take the big step of starting their own enterprises no matter what the challenges could be. She also informed them of the opportunity for project funding through the Institute’s collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI), a Federal government owned development bank charged with the responsibility of funding projects in Nigeria be it small, medium or large.  She was also of the opinion that the Youths Association could work with the Local Government, State government and the political leadership of their constituencies to establish Cluster Processing Centers to fast track enterprise take off for those who could not afford to buy processing machinery and equipment immediately. As such, they could take their raw materials to the centers, process them for a token fee and market their products until they could raise sufficient funds to acquire their own processing equipment.

Before the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo issued certificates of participation to the participants, a representative of the participants thanked the management of the Institute for the rare opportunity the Institute gave to them to participate in the training. He said the training has been an eye opener to most of them who are now thinking differently and set to seize the opportunity presented to them to set up their own enterprises against all odds to become employers of labor and of course their own bosses.

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FIIRO Partners SAMDPIN Maritime Ltd on Techno-Entrepreneurship Training for Unemployed Youths

Samdpin Maritime Limited partnered with the Institute under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Initiative to train 30 unemployed youths who are repentant militants. The training took place at the Little Paradise Hotel, Effurun, Delta State from 8th January to 10th January, 2016. The participants were grouped into three groups based on their technologies of interest. The three technologies are: Fish Smoking, Cassava Processing and Fruit Juice production. The technologies were carefully selected based on raw materials of relative abundance in Delta State and ease of setting up by participants after the training.


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Apart from the technical component, the participants were also exposed to the management component of entrepreneurial skill so that they will be able to set up and manage their enterprises with relative ease. The management modules include: Product Marketing; Product Cost Element; Productivity Improvement and Starting and Managing Business. Both the organizer and the participants expressed their profound appreciation to the Institute for the well packaged programme that gave the participants the opportunity to produce the products by themselves after demonstration by the instructors. Some of the participants could not contain their joy; they promised to contact the Institute on further steps to take (most especially equipment fabrication and installation) to realizing their ambition to be their own bosses and employers of labour. 

The organizer, i.e. Samdpin Maritime Limited also commended the Institute for effective delivery of the training modules and promised to provide the link between the Institute and the participants until they fully realize their goals of setting up their own enterprises.

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MOTIVE INTERNATIONAL PARLEYS FIIRO ON SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME

In order to further consolidate the relationship between the Institute and Motive International – an American company, a team comprising of Ms Morgan Keay-Chief Executive Officer; Miss Jennifer Prillaman- Business Development Executive and Tunji Ladner – the Nigerian Representative visited the Institute on Monday, 25th January, 2016. The team was received by the Director-General/CEO of the Institute, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo assisted by Dr. Dele Oyeku (Director, Extension & Linkage) and Mr. Patrick Usen, the Chief Executive Officer, Inter-Heritage Promotions Limited, a Consultant to the Institute on R&D commercialization.

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The DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo said she was very glad to receive Ms. Morgan Keay and her team back to the Institute for further discussion on developing a sustainable model for the National School Feeding Programme.

Ms. Morgan Keay reinstated the interest of Motive International as a social enterprise in food and nutrition security and strategic partnership to facilitate commercialization of the Institute’s R&D results most especially in the areas of food and nutrition. She further stated that her company can facilitate the inflow of patience capital to both the private and public sectors in pursuance of the National School Feeding Programme. She said her company is already discussing with the Lagos State Government on School Feeding Programme and has indicated FIIRO as its technical partner for menu formulation and standardization.   

The DG/CEO in her response informed the team that the Institute is always willing to partner with organizations that can add value to its programs. She said the Institute is willing to share in the experiences of Motive International especially on the management aspect of the School Feeding Programme with the aim to develop a sustainable model for the National School Feeding Programme based on best practices all over the world. At the end of the discussion, both organizations renewed their resolute interest to work together for mutual benefit in national interest. 

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Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, FIIRO and NASCO Foods Ltd Sign MoU

Federal Ministry of Science & Technology, FIIRO and NASCO Foods Ltd. Sign MoU on Commercial Production of High Nutrient Density Biscuit for School Feeding Programme

The event started about 11.45am at the Minister’s Conference room with the Hon. Minister, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu as the Chairman. The event was anchored by the Deputy Director Press, Mr. Akinyemi who introduced the Hon. Minister, the Permanent Secretary, the DG/CEO FIIRO, Directors and Principal Officers of the Ministry who were present at the occasion. He also took time to introduce the DG/CEO, National Office Technology Acquisition and Patenting (NOTAP), Dr. Ibrahim and the DG/CEO, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Haruna who were also present at the occasion.


After the introduction of men of the press (which include NTA, AIT, Channels TV, TVC, Guardian, The Nation, Sun, Tribune, Leadership, Aljazeera, VOA, VON, FRCN, Nigerian Pilot, Daily Trust, BBC, and so on), he politely asked the FIIRO team and the Nasco team to do self introduction. On the Nasco’s team were: Alh. Sani Ibrahim, the Representative of Chairman; Mr. Idris Nasreddin, the Managing Director; Mr. Shehu Nyelong, the Admin. Manager and Mr. James Nwunze, the Marketing Manager. On the FIIRO team were: Dr. Dele Oyeku – Director, Extension & Linkage; Dr. O. Oluwole – Director, Food Technology; Mr. J.O Oderinde – Director – Finance & Accounts; Mr. T.O Ajayi, Deputy Director – Planning, Research & Statistics; Mrs. I.O Layode – Deputy Director and Head, Abuja Liaison Office and Mr. Patrick Usen, CEO, Inter-Heritage Promotion (a Consultant to FIIRO).

The Permanent Secretary, FMST, Dr. (Mrs.) Habiba Lawal delivered the welcome address and stated the purpose of the gathering which was to sign the MoU between FMST/FIIRO and Nasco Foods Limited on Commercial production of High Nutrient Density (HND) biscuit intended for the National School Feeding Programme. 

After the welcome address by the Permanent Secretary, the Director-General/CEO, FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo spoke about the product. Dr. (Mrs.) Elemo said the journey towards development of the High Nutrient Density (HND) biscuit started way back in 2007. She said the project was a key project under the Institute’s Food and Nutrition Security Programme conceived out of the need to address the increasing food and nutrition insecurity which have become a major concern especially for children between the ages 5 and 13 who are mainly primary school pupils.

The DG/CEO FIIRO said the product has obvious advantage at addressing food and nutrition insecurity of school age children because the product can meet one third of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for both macro and micro nutrients for school age children (ages 5 – 13years). In concluding her remarks about the product, the DG/CEO FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo expressed sincere appreciation to the Hon. Minister, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for championing the course of the project and for believing in FIIRO and its ability as an agent of change for job creation, wealth creation, and national prosperity. She assured the Hon. Minister that with Nasco Foods Limited and Inter-Heritage Promotion Limited in the partnership nothing will go wrong with the National School Feeding Programme. She also commended the entire leadership of the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology most especially to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Habiba Lawal for providing the driving force for the project.

On partnership that works, the Chairman, Nasco Group represented by Alh. Sani Ibrahim tendered the apology of the Chairman, Nasco Group for not being able to attend the ceremony. The Chairman said NASCO Foods Limited is an indigenous company that has been in existence for about 50years with adequate capacity and experience to produce biscuit products to feed estimated 25million children in public primary schools under the National School Feeding Programme on daily basis.  He further said that Nasco Group has a lot of experience working with government to deliver effectively on government projects as was done especially during the PTF programme on production and supply of quality rugs in Federal government teaching hospitals all over Nigeria. The Managing Director, Nasco Group, Mr. Idris Nasreddin corroborated the Chairman’s remarks; he said that Nasco has the wherewithal to produce the HND biscuit with all safety consideration to ensure product safety. He further said that the company is ISO compliant with Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP) and Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) put in place to ensure product standardization and safety.

Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, during his keynote address at the occasion, said the signing of MoU between the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and Nasco Foods Limited to commercially produce the HND biscuit is a boost to the National School Feeding Programme of the Federal government.

He said the MoU signing was necessary to begin the implementation process of HND biscuit for the National School Feeding Programme targeting about 25million pupils in public primary schools in Nigeria. The Hon. Minister said the HND biscuit is one of the 250 products of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi, Lagos, which will meet, at least one third recommended dietary allowance to address the challenge of nutrition insecurity, enhance school enrolment, increase retention ability of pupils as well as enhance cognitive ability of the children who are future leaders. The Hon. Minister expressed his satisfaction with the activities of FIIRO and said the leadership of the Institute under the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo deserves commendation of the Federal government for coming to the rescue by providing indigenous product suitable for the National School Feeding Programme at this moment of our national history.

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