David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi
Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged industrialists across Nigeria to improve on their technological innovations for better products to help Nigeria diversify and be less dependent on crude oil as the mainstay of the economy.
The minister disclosed this during a factory tour of Cutix Plc, Nnewi, Anambra State. He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was committed to the growth of indigenous companies across the country.
Onu commended the private sector’s initiatives in driving the economy as it has helped governments at various levels in job creation and poverty eradication.
He called on industrialists to explore their enterprising potential in technological development of the South East region as, according to him, his ministry would send some of the federal agencies to assist them in the areas of innovations.
He explained that the Ministry of Science and Technology was continually encouraging research and innovations in different areas, saying that they would make more profits by using locally made materials. He frowned at the inability of some trained engineers who were still in the labour market other than finding ways to be productive to utilise their training.
He said the aim of his visit was to fraternise with captains of indigenous industries to find out what their challenges were and where the Federal Government could assist. He commended Cutix Plc for its innovative posture.
“The Buhari-led government is keen about restoring the lost glory of Nigeria in all areas of the economy and the captains of industry will not be left out,” the Minister said.
Earlier, the CEO of Cutix Plc, Mrs. Ijeoma Oduonye, thanked the Minister for his visit and appealed to his ministry to collaborate with Cutix company in the area of technological innovations.
She said that Cutix Plc had improved in its innovations through “fabrication of a number of our machinery in our factory. One of the coilers we use in our factory was designed, built and commissioned by a staff of the company.”
She said: “All our pieces of machinery in the new Cable Plant were installed by a team of our in-house maintenance staff and engineers and we have just commissioned a new workshop in our factory with the intention of designing and fabricating a number of our spare parts, in-house.”
She enumerated the company’s challenges and requested the ministry to assist in getting the support of the Federal Government to solve persistent congestions at the seaports in Nigeria.
She called for easy access to direct allocation of forex at commercial banks for importation of raw materials by manufacturing companies, public power supply and government patronage of their products.