Senate calls for adequate funding for research, development
• FIIRO showcases 250 inventions waiting for industrial application
The Senate committee on Science and Technology has called for substantial funding in the area of research. They made the call during their working visit to Federal Institute for Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos.
The institute, which posses over 250 technologies has called on the general public to pick up the innovations. FIIRO believes they have what it takes to diversify the economy through its technologies, creating of employment and entrepreneurs through the work they do.
The Chairman of the committee, Robert Boroffice, expressed his gratitude with conviction that FIIRO is capable of contributing to the development of the economy this time the country is in dare need to diversify the economy.
Boroffice said that they observed there are 250 technologies that have been completed in the institute and are ready to be commercialised. The Chairman advised that there should be more collaboration between FIIRO and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) and other private sector so as to help commercialise the products. He beckoned on the institute to intensify training sessions in the area of technology and organisation of seminars and workshops, bringing together young Nigerians, mentor them to become entrepreneurs and benefit from the research.
“I am excited because at the last budget meeting, I raised the issue that FIIRO should look into the idea of local development of wig and I am surprised that they have gone far, they have done a lot of background research and they are in the developing aspect of it. I promise that senate and my committee will assist in assuring that the project is a success,” said Boroffice. He continued: “There is no country in the world that has made it without science and technology. If we are serious about it, we should commit more money on science and technology. The level of industrialisation is commensurate with the percentage of Gross domestic product (GDP) of science and development. The more you give the more you get, the less you give the less you get. If we really want to diversify the economy, we must develop the political will and put more money in science and technology because virtually everything you come across is science and technology and we cannot run away from it.
so if we have that political will to commit more fund in science and technology we will have a long way to go.”Boroffice added: “We have not yet seen what is on the table; the budget has not been presented. We will do everything humanly possible to make sure that science and technology have a fair share.”
The chairman urged the government to create an avenue for the products to be commercialised and also called on the private sector to take on some of the products that have been developed, that it is the only way we can all work together to diversify the economy.
Director General, Dr. Gloria Elemo, said that the visit is for the committee to have the first hand information on what is going on in the institute especially the over sight activities to ensure compliance in budgetary and, allocation and most importantly to see where there is deficiency, where money is supposed to be put and where priority has to be.
Elemo added: “We discussed most of the challenges and our area of needs have been highlighted and they are going to speak and confirm that our needs are really genuine. We are hoping that they should be able to make a move to ensure that more money comes in so that FIIRO gets substantial amount for its research and developments.
“FIIRO is a show case and test case of research institute that produces for the nation. We have over 250 technologies, which we are begging to be picked up. So FIIRO has the feat and technology to turn the economy around.”