Dele Ogbodo in Abuja
The Minister of Science and Technology, Mr. Ogbonnaya Onu, monday tasked entrepreneurs and industrialists to look inward to utilise the abundant raw materials available in the country in their production processes.
According to him, utilisation of the nation’s natural resources will strengthen the currency, reduce poverty and create wealth.
A statement signed by the Deputy Director in charge of Public Affairs, Mr. Take Akinyemi, said the minister gave the charge at the formal presentation of the report of the committee on the Development of National Strategy for Competitiveness in Raw Materials and Products Development in Nigeria in Abuja today.
The minister said Nigerians must be prepared to add value to raw materials so that industrialists will find it easy to utilise such in a position to feed the industry because God has bestowed so much on the nation.
He pledged to work and build on the report in the interest of the country and to ensure that raw materials available in Nigeria and are sufficient for use in industries are no longer imported into the country.
According to him, the low rating of Nigeria by rating agencies in comparison to other nations less endowed can no longer be justified and the country must take its destiny in its hands and avoid unnecessary wastage of scarce resources arising from low or non-patronage of the nation’s abundant raw materials.
In a remark, the national president, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Olu Jacob, who was represented by Mr. Aliu Madugu, said the report, which is an implementable strategy, will help the country reduce significantly, over-dependence on importation of raw materials and products.
He stressed that the report addressed the issue of strategic framework for reducing importation in areas of competitive advantage, requirement to drive competitiveness in the country, issues and challenges affecting the manufacturing sectors and research and development institutions and solutions. It also gave Nigeria five years foreign trade projections up to 2020.
Giving further insight into the work of the committee Mr. Eteama Henry, stated that the mandate of the committee was to develop a model to drive Nigeria’s competitiveness in raw materials and products development, Carry out mapping of the various sectors’ competitiveness in raw materials and products development, including production and consumption patterns, R&D institutions and their linkages with industries & businesses.
It was also to articulate a result-based management and logical framework for implementation of the strategy to be adopted in the short-, medium- and long- terms and also make recommendations arising from the needs of the stakeholders.