By Ndahi Marama
MAIDUGURIâ€” Minister of Commerce and Industry, Chief Achike Udenwa, has challenged all the flour mill industry operators in the country to engage in scientific research aimed at using the local formulation of agro-allied raw materials to replace wheat importation from the USA.
The Minister gave the advice when he visited the management of the Maiduguri Flour Mills Limited in continuation of his inspection tour to ailing industries and the surviving ones in the North-East sub-region.
Conducting the Minister round the sections of the company, General Manager, Alhaji Adamu Badejo, represented by the Assistant Manager, Alhaji Baba Maisalati, said the major constraint facing the company was high cost on the importation and transportation of wheat from the USA, which is the major raw materials in producing the flour.
Maisalati said apart from the efforts by its shareholders like the Borno and Yobe State governments and Flour Mills Apapa, Lagos among others to save the company from collapsing, the company was battling with lack of power supply as its major obstacle.
On research and training, the Assistant Manager said already, the company had started adding 10 per cent cassava as part of raw materials in the production of flour, adding that efforts are being intensified through research to ensure that local contents of maize, millets or guinea corn are included to replace wheat which is not locally produced in the country.
Udenwa who was primarily in Maiduguri to launch a massive campaign on â€œPatronise Made in Nigeria Productsâ€ in the North-East, also paid a visit to dormant industries like the Pioneer Industries, Dishes and Long Span Aluminum Roofing Sheets,Â Neital Shoe Company and BOPLAS Company.
He promised that the Federal Government would look into these companies with a view to solving some of the problems facing them.
He also visited the only surviving Haske Sweet and Confectionaries Ltd.