By Victoria Ojeme
The Minister of Science and Technology Prof. Mohammed Abubakar last week at the 2nd scientific briefing on the utilization of research and development, R&D, listed about 72 products, developed by its parastatals for commercialization to improve standard of living of the people.
The minister said that was necessary because detoxification of product with acidic substances was a necessity for the safety of Nigerians.
results from laboratories to the market maintained that the products are out of 101 commercialisablel R&D results and a blue print on commercialization recently presented to the public.
Reacted to the presentation of analytical characteristics of cassava flour by the Federal Institute of Research, FIIRO which reduced cyanide to 10%, Prof Abubakar called for further reduction of cyanide below 10% in the composite flour inorder to further detoxifying the substance for the safety of the consumers.
He then directed FIIRO), Raw Material Research and Development Council (RMRDC) to work with the relevant agencies in detoxifying the substance.
The minister stated further that the ministry is focusing on the enormous investment opportunities in the food, drugs and chemicals sub-sectors.
“Products to be commercialized include; processed indigenous foods, herbal preparations, diagnostic kits, organic fertilizers and pesticides. The products will improve nutritional status of Nigerians, boost agricultural yield and help in the treatment of arthritis, cough, malaria, HIV andhepatitis” he said.
He maintained that the ministry is ready to collaborate with any body be it private individual or corporate body “in driving our socio-economic development through guided research and development”.
Abubakar added that the federal ministry of foreign affairs is making arrangements to request foreign embassies to support the ministry’s initiative, while the bank of industry has pledged to collaborate with the ministry on its vision of taking Rand D from laboratory to the market.
In his presentation, the Chief Executive of National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA), Prof. Bamidele Solomon said “NABDA in collaboration with Trinity Biotech of Ireland has established a manufacturing facility for production of HIV/AID, malaria and Hepatitis-B diagnostic kits. Some of the products are ready for commercial production”.
Also, the Director General of Nigeria Natural Medicine Development Agency T. F. Okujagu told the participants that the “agency is working to develop a low-cost tea bag Herb combination (Artemisia annua and a Nigeria plant – Moringa oleifera) anti-malaria therapy with a view to contributing to the National roll back malaria effort, in collaboration with kukosai Ltd and the University of Calabar”.
The Director General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, Prof Peter Onwalu stressed the need for the products to move beyond development but into the market as “the marketability of these products is the main constrain that needs to be addressed”.
The DG cited a company in Calabar in Cross River State, which has produced an acceptable standard of cassava flour, adding that, “ his warehouse, is still full of the product and the man stopped the production, this calls for concern”.
Earlier, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Dr. Dere Awosika said the ministry has inaugurated a special committee that is already working with the CBN in line with the recommendation of stakeholders to ensure adequate funding of commercialisable R and D results.