Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
In a bid to tackle the prevalent malnutrition problem in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in Borno, Yobe, Adamawa and other camps across the country, the Ministry of Science and Technology, through the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), has concluded plans to commercialise its therapeutic foods to alleviate the menace.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made the disclosure on Wednesday, when the President of African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Prof. Kingston Nyamapfeene, paid a courtesy call at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
Onu said progress has been made to get intellectual property for the commercialisation of the research findings by FIIRO as one of the major intervention programmes of the ministry for the management of malnutrition.
According to him, the final product from FIIRO will also be exported too neighbouring West African countries, adding that the therapeutic food by FIIRO all came out from local food materials available in Nigeria.
According to him, the ministry is concerned about the development in the North-east and is charting a new course by bringing technology into agriculture to improving the present food challenge in the area.
He said: “We are working very hard to move the country from resource based to knowledge based”
He said the ministry was also in the process of giving grant to the Nigerian Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering for the publications of their journals saying “this would provide the platform for the Publication of post graduate papers by the university students”.
The minister pledged to partner the university because “walking with them will help Nigerians and will also strengthen the existing relationship between the ministry and universities.
In a remark, Nyamapfeene stated that the university which was a World Bank project to promote Science and technology in Africa, has generated human capital for the continent.
He said students are carefully selected from 26 African countries for post-graduate programmes in Science and Engineering only. “We hope to explore the possibility of supporting the work of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology through collaboration and interaction” he noted
He said the university was an initiative of two great African leaders, Nelson Mandela and Ibrahim Babangida, who jointly prevailed on the World Bank to make investment in higher education in Africa to promote science and technology.