By Charles Nwaoguji
Having identified the impact of research developed by the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) on the economy, the United Nations has pledged an alliance with the agency to realise its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and products competitiveness for Nigeria.
Mr. Edward Kallon, United Nations Resident Coordinator in Nigeria on a working visit to the agency, recently in Lagos, said he was impressed and inspired by how African scientists were breaking new grounds to improve value of local products through technology.
“I am here to see how together we can work to see that more technology is available for young people to be entrepreneurs and add value to Nigeria’s economy,” he said.
Kallon noted that the quest for industrialisation is the core of the United Nations’ SDGs and that Nigeria had the potential to succeed, stressing that the country’s success was Africa’s success.
“You have depended too much on oil but I’m glad about the reorientation agenda of your present government. Diversification is the way to go especially in the agriculture sector. We can also do a lot in the solid mineral sector. Nigeria is too big to fail. If Nigeria succeeds in sustaining the SDGs, then all Africa succeeds,” he said.
He said he will sustain his advocacy for FIIRO because technology upgrade was needed to drive industrialisation, adding that medium and longer term aspirations must be placed before the short-term aspirations of political leadership on the continent.
“The drive towards diversification may have started late, but it is the way to go in order to stimulate growth and foster Africa’s emergence as a resourceful continent,” he said.
He said the United Nations Development Framework has been finalised and aligns with Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP) and Vision 2020.
Kallon said the framework revolves around the SDG that aims at job creation, poverty alleviation and empowerment, stating that, “the UN framework has moved from the ownership perspective to partnership and partnerships would remain a central theme of our relationships. We have tried to link the new partnership framework to the SDGs.”
According to him, the UN system will be working towards three key outcomes from 2018 to 2023. He listed the outcomes as peace and human rights, quality and social services, and inclusive economic growth and development.
Kallon said FIIRO had impact on all the SDGs, adding that UN would collaborate with it on all technological innovations for job creation.
The UN official urged FIIRO to base its research on promoting a market demand driven strategy in identifying areas of investment rather than prescribing areas of investment.
Earlier, the Director General of FIIRO, Prof. Gloria Elemo, said the visit would redefine the institute’s collaboration with many UN organisations.
She said that working with FIIRO, the UN would achieve a lot more for the betterment of Nigeria and Africa as a continent.
“I am confident that the institute would be very relevant to the UN programmes on sustainable development, poverty eradication, food and nutrition security. FIIRO prides itself as the home of indigenous technologies and as technology provider to micro, small, medium and large sized enterprises,” Elemo said.
She said the institute’s technologies have relevance in all the 774 local government areas of the country and is suitable for job creation.