Nigeria is fast-tracking the reduction of the importation of finished and unfinished products, as well as raw material into the country.
This is according to the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, which he announced during his inspection visit to two indigenous industries in Anambra on Sunday, 19 November 2018.
The minister, who visited Cutix Cable Plc and Innoson Motor Vehicles in Nnewi, the North Local Government Area of Anambra State, said that the Federal Government was not happy that many graduates of engineering roam the streets without employment.
He added that the government, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, was doing all it could to encourage indigenous companies across the country. Onu said that the aim of the visit was “to fraternise with captains of indigenous industries to find out what their challenges were and see where the Federal Government could assist.”
He assured that technocrats from the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology would visit the companies, two weeks after his visit with Words of Action.
“The Buhari-led government is keen about restoring the lost glory of the country in all areas of the economy and the captains of industries would not be left out,” he said.
Ijeoma Oduonye, the Chief Executive Officer of Cutix Cables, commended the minister for the visit and efforts to assist the company. Oduonye said that the company required collaboration with the ministry in the area of innovation as one of its core value and desire to encourage staff at all levels to think ‘self-reliance’.
She added that innovation was, coincidentally, a major driving force for any breakthrough in science and technology, noting that Cutix Cables had demonstrated its commitment to innovations by fabricating a number of machinery used in the factory.
She explained: “One of the coilers we use in the factory was designed, built and commissioned by a staff of cutix cables.”
She emphasised that all the machinery in the company’s new power cable plant were installed by a team of in-house maintenance staff and engineers.
Oduonye said that the company had commissioned a new workshop with the intention of designing and fabricating a number of spare parts in-house.
She said that the company needed grant for research and development to further promote innovation.
She requested that indigenous manufacturers be allocated to direct foreign exchange for importation of raw materials. She urged Federal Government to evolve stern measures towards checking the influx of sub-standard cables into Nigeria, saying it was one of the major problems confronting cable manufactures in the country.
Innoson Chukwuma, the Chairman of Innoson Motor Vehicles, said: “Genuine efforts should be made towards restoring power supply in the country. The cost of maintaining power for production would ultimately increase the cost of products.”
He pleaded with government to patronise its products. He added that government and its agencies should be encouraged to patronise local products instead of imported ones because “we can also manufacture quality goods,” he said.