Vitafoam boss seeks industry collaboration with tertiary institutions
The Managing Director, Vitafoam Nigeria Plc, Taiwo Adeniyi has advocated increased collaboration between the academia and industry to accelerate Nigeria’s economic growth and development
Adeniyi, who was the guest speaker at the yearly Lecture of the Science Department, University of Lagos, submitted that there was need for a symbiotic relationship between the academia and industry in order to align the theoretical work in the tertiary institutions with practical industrial knowledge in order to enhance Nigeria’s target towards global competitiveness.
Speaking on the theme: ‘Synergy In Science: A Tool For National Development’, he said; “A typical approach to stimulating university-industry collaboration is to adequately design research and development grants, matching grants, and tax incentives with a requisite of a consortium of industries and universities for project eligibility.”
He added that “a lot of what we go abroad to seek solution to can actually be attended to in the country if there is a proper synergy between the academia and the industry, we should be able to resolve a number of issues without necessarily going outside the shores of the country. That is what I am placing a demand on today so that all of us can work together to bring about the desired development for this nation”.
Meanwhile, Vitafoam boss had also decried the inability of manufacturers to import raw materials due to paucity and high cost of foreign exchange, especially under the new regime where foreign exchange (forex) supply to manufacturers is classified under futures placement requirement, which takes 90 days before forex could be made available.
According to him, the first half of the year had been very challenging for the manufacturers due to scarcity and high cost of forex to source raw materials.
“The first half of the year was not too good for manufacturing sector. There was a lot of policy changing that took place but it is too early to think that it has not added any impact on the business yet.
“The first day it happened on June 20th, we have a release of so much dollar into the system and everybody thought it was going to continue that way but as I speak to you now we are having to do what is called future placement for request for dollar.
“It is tenured 30, 90 days for us to have access to dollar. And I asked a simple question to the Bank, if you are telling me that the next time I am going to get dollar to buy my material is in 90 days’ time what happened before the 90 days, I should fold my hands and then wait and the thing about it is that we are not even sure it will happened.“
Adeniyi expressed the need for government to create a department saddled with the responsibility of paying courtesy visit to the various industrial firms in Nigeria in order to understand their plights better.
“Manufacturers will always belong to the Manufactures Association of Nigeria (MAN) and there are several others organs of government that they can use to be able to know; you can imagine that Vitafoam has been around for 52 years. A committee can be set up to visit the companies and confirm.
“They have asked us, and we have filled document for raw materials research council to confirm the materials used after government issues licenses for us to import. If we are not producing, how would we have access licenses to import. So they know who the manufacturers are, they cannot claim that they don’t know.
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