Onu tasks PRODA on technology, job creation
THE Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu, has expressed the readiness of his ministry to assist the Projects Development Institute (PRODA) achieve its full potentials as a research institute and contributing meaningfully in advancing the nation’s march towards industrialisation.
Onu, who was on a tour of PRODA facilities at Emene and Iva Valley in Enugu yesterday, said that although he was impressed with the work at PRODA, it was obvious that a lot more could be done. One of those areas calling for attention is in the area of job creation, which the Chief Executive Officer of PRODA, Dr. C.N. Agulanna, who was represented by Dr. Edwin Oriaku, assured that the institute was capable of providing 400,000 jobs.
Tasking the management of PRODA to give him a report within a week in which areas PRODA can take people off the streets and train them, he said that, “job creation is important to this administration. And it is our belief that PRODA can create jobs. We want to know how PRODA can impart skills’ acquisition to people with sophisticated backgrounds.”
The minister also challenged PRODA to produce its first Made-in-Nigeria six cylinder engine and a Nigerian-made pencil, saying that despite the fact that Nigeria had the capacity to manufacture pencils, it had continued to import the item.
He said that Nigeria would be able to produce some of its defence requirements and other needs if it succeeds in producing its own engine and other technological components, saying that Nigeria was tired of importing all sorts of things into the country as he assured that his ministry would assist the research Institute in achieving its objectives of contributing meaningfully to the nation’s technological breakthrough.
Oriaku said that part of the imported machines that would have enabled PRODA take off with full-scale production of pencil was withheld at the Wharf in Lagos because of inability of the Institute to pay import duties.
He expressed confidence that when the machines are released, PRODA would embark on mass scale production of pencils.
According to him, mass production of pencils by PRODA will be enough to serve Nigeria and other West African nations, as such that Nigeria will have no reason to continue importing pencils.
Onu urged the management of the Institute to submit to his office a blue-print on how the agency can be supported to embark on its full-scale production within one week.