Promote processed raw materials before exports
Materials Science and Technology Society of Nigeria (MSN) has called on the Federal Government to increase its foreign exchange earnings by ensuring that only refined raw materials and minerals are exported.
Prof. Abdul-Kareem Ahmed, the President of the society, made the call on Tuesday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
According to him, the nation should be processing its raw materials into finished products and even go as far as advanced materials to maximise their usefulness.
NAN recalls that raw materials or mineral resources become advanced once they are processed into higher modification for superior performance.
“We want government, the private sector and other stakeholders to come together and make contributions toward acquiring necessary equipment to be able to produce the advance materials from mineral resources in the country.
“We have many raw materials in the country that can be used for advance materials.
“When you produce advance materials, you have added a lot of values and when you now export, you earn a lot of foreign exchange.
“Using the processed products in the country will also reduce importation, which means our currency will gain more value,” he said.
On availability of technical knowhow required to add value to abundant raw materials in the country, MSN president said that increase in research funding and training would boost indigenous expertise.
“We need to develop indigenous knowhow to be able to process these materials into advanced materials which of cause we use a lot but we import virtually all of them.
“We also need to improve on our research funding because at the moment, our researches are not good enough because we don’t have state-of the-art equipment to carry out these researches,’’ Ahmed said.
He said that the nation’s crude petroleum could be used to make many petroleum base materials like polyethylene resin a derivable from ethylene, a by-product of crude petroleum.
Ahmed said that the same value could be added to iron ore in the nation, saying “our iron ore can also be refined to make super alloyed”.
The association president said that MSN would continue to organise conferences, lectures and workshops for its members and other stakeholders in the country.
“These workshops and trainings will increase the proficiencies of its members and make them to be more in tuned with the technical knowhow of refining raw materials locally,’’ he said.
NAN recalls that President Muhamadu Buhari had said during the inauguration of his government in May 29, 2015, that he would ensure diversification of the economy to reduce dependence on oil.
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