In demonstration of its local content initiative as one of the drivers of industrialisation to position Nigeria as an entrepreneurial economy, the Federal Institute for Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), now has an array of industrial enzymes as part of its research outcomes, ready for patenting.
Enzymes are known to be expensive raw materials for processing many industrial raw materials into final products, useful for their catalytic roles.
Most enzymes in use in use in Nigeria are imported, which take a significant toll on Nigeria’s foreign exchange. Hitches in importation of such enzymes sometimes create production downtime, and cost such companies a fortune in unmet market needs.
Conducting the newly sworn in Governing Board of the institute round the facilities at Oshodi, Lagos, last week, the Director General, Prof. Gloria Elemo, explained that the institute now has some enzymes, locally produced, on its shelves, ready for the market.
Specifically, the enzymes on display last week were protease, amylase, pectinase, cellulase, xylanase, glucoamylase and phytase, with functions cutting across the food and feed industry, with significance in nutrition and health.
Elemo, in her presentation, said that the institute’s overarching mandate is to identify and develop appropriate technologies, upgrading indigenous technologies in the area of food and agro-allied processing and in various non-food uses.
She disclosed that “FIIRO will focus on commercialisation of its market-ready products, processes and equipment design plus pipeline innovations.”
The DG described FIIRO as a strong platform for MSME development through technology. According to her, “FIIRO is a technology provider to the micro, small, medium and large scale industries in Nigeria.”
On major achievements, Elemo pointed out that the institute has “developed over 250 R&D technologies and has completely packaged 100 of them ready for immediate commercialisation.”
She disclosed that “the institute has provided technology transfer to about 70 per cent of MSMEs (especially those in the food and beverage sector) in the South West geo-political zone in Nigeria” and “has provided services to over 70 per cent of the SMEs operating in the Technology Incubation Centres all over the 36 states in Nigeria.”
One of the board members, Engr. Chuks Ololo, who expressed delight at what he saw, confessed that, before his arrival at the institute, he had expected to see a number of research officers sitting behind tables and doing nothing.
The obviously pleased, board chairman, Ibrahim DanAzumi Gwarzo, commended the institute’s DG and addressed the labour grievances, particularly approving the promotion of officers whose promotion has been stalled for some time in the past.
He also promised to continue to work with his board members to support the institute during their tenure.