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Zero budget for R&D, key challenge facing FIIRO—DG, Elemo

The Director General of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. Goria Elemo has fingered lack of adequate fund for research and development as one of the most crucial challenges facing the institute.

In an interview, she said “Presently, there is no budget line for research and development funding. We are constrained to fund R&Ds from the meagre overhead”.

“Secondly, Inadequate electricity supply; some of our laboratories equipment require 24hours electricity to maintain them otherwise you need to re-calibrate each time power is off and on and sometimes we result to taking samples (especially enzymes) home for keep under refrigerated condition.

According to her, the third problem facing the performance of FIIRO is the non-competitiveness of Remuneration o Research Scientists, Researchers in the Research Institute are not well remunerated thereby resulting into brain drain and lastly the lack of constant training and retraining of staff, irregular attendance of local and international conference/seminar/workshops. These have made our researchers to below their professional colleagues all over the world.

She said FIIRO also provides technology transfer training to SMEs on daily basis and also write feasibility study at minimal fees.

“Also, we fabricate equipment that are ready for take up to interested manufacture. The institute is currently in collaboration with universities, polytechnics, research institutes, government agencies, non-governmental organisations and industries. To mention a few, Bank of industry has always assisted to make fund accessible to most of the entrepreneurs that undergo trainings in our institute, though with our recommendation.

Dr. Elemo revealed that “We are presently working with Master bakers and Federal government for the commercialisation of our Nutraceutical products for sickle cell anaemia patient and therapeutic products for management of malnutrition in children. Despite all this measure put in place by the institute, the fund available is still not enough to carry out a lot of project. The Government needs to increase investment in Science and technology through appropriating and releasing funds for the sector.

On the way out, she said the institution aspires to commercialize all FIIRO developed research and development results and we intend to establish cottage industries in all the 36 states of Nigeria. FIIRO will continue to serve as pillar and source of reference point s for technologies transfer and we also want to train more entrepreneurs on our R&Ds. This will in a long way reduce the importation of items that can be produced here.