FIIRO pushes for innovation in machine fabrication, local content
Besides, the research institute also sought government’s intervention in passing the local content bill on cassava flour inclusion in order to improve the economy.
According to the Director-General of FIIRO, Prof Gloria Elemo, if the local content bill on 20% cassava flour inclusion is passed into law, Nigeria would be saving N127 billion yearly in terms of conservation of foreign exchange, and would also generate close to three million jobs annually along its value chain, ranging from the farmers that plant, transporters, suppliers, processors, distributors and others.
She explained that the essence of promoting innovation in machine fabrication is to discourage the import of the same technology that is manufactured or fabricated locally and to save the country the huge foreign exchange expended on import and maintenance of such foreign machineries.
She added, saying: “We also discovered that the total quantity of cassava roots needed yearly is about 1.2 metric tons. So we encourage SMEs to go into cassava flour production of at least between 1 – 3 tonnes per day, which will promote proliferation and not production concentration.
“At this level, we will need about 5000 MSEs at the capacity of between 1 – 3 tonnes output level per day. Also, this implies that we would be having a minimum of six SMEs in the 774 local governments of the country producing cassava flour should this bill be passed into law. So, you can imagine the turnaround of the economy of these local governments as well as the country in general”.
To protect their investments, Elemo emphasised the need for manufacturers to patent their research.
“Before I assumed office in 2011 as the DG, FIIRO had only five patents, but as at today, we have over 30 patents, which is a great achievement. In 2018 alone, we had over 15 patents and we are not relenting. This is to say that before the middle of 2019, we would have had more patents than what we are having now. In the FMST, FIIRO has the highest number of patents, which is a big plus to the institute.
“Patent right is a commercial document, and without a patent, there is no way you can talk of commercialization, there is no way we would be talking of industrial linkage. An R&D result that has no patent cannot be taken to the industry. So the commercial document of R&D result is the patent right”, she said.
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