By Joy Mbachi
Nnewi – The Federal Government says it is making concerted efforts to reduce the importation of finished, unfinished products and raw material into the country.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, said this on Sunday during his inspection visit to two indigenous industries in Anambra.
The minister, who visited Cutix Cable Plc and Innoson Motor Vehicles in Nnewi , Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra, said that the Federal Government was not happy that many graduates of engineering courses roam the streets without employment.
He added that the government, under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari, was doing all it could to encourage indigenous companies across the country.
Onu said that the aim of the visit was “to fraternise with captains of indigenous industries to find out what their challenges were and see where the Federal Government could assist.”
He assured that technocrats from Federal Ministry of Science and Technology would visit the companies two weeks after his visit “with words of action.
“The Buhari-led government was keen about restoring the lost glory of the country in all areas of the economy and said that the captains of industries would not be left out.”
Mrs Ijeoma Oduonye, the Chief Executive Officer of Cutix Cables commended the minister for the visit and efforts to assist the company.
Oduonye said that the company required collaboration with the ministry in the area of innovation as one of its core value and desired to encourage staff at all levels to think self–reliance.
She added that innovation was coincidentally a major driving force for any breakthrough in science and technology! noting that cutix cables had demonstrated its commitment to innovations by fabricating a number of machinery used in the factory.
She explained that “one of the coilers we use in the factory was designed, built and commissioned by a staff of cutix cables.”
She emphasised that all the machinery in the company’s new power cable plant were installed by a team of in-house maintenance staff and engineers .
Oduonye said that the company had commissioned a new workshop with the intention of designing and fabricating a number of spare parts in-house.
She said that the company needed grant for research and development to further promote innovation.
She requested that indigenous manufacturers be allocated direct foreign exchange for importation of raw materials.
She urged Federal Government to evolve stern measures toward checking the influx of sub-standard cables into Nigeria, saying it was one of the major problems confronting cable manufactures in the country.
Mr Innoson Chukwuma, the Chairman of Innoson Motor Vehicles, said that “genuine efforts should be made toward restoring power supply in the country.”
He said that the cost of maintaining power for production would ultimately increase the cost of products and pleaded with government to patronise its products.
He added that government and its agencies should be encouraged to patronise local products instead of imported ones ” because we can also manufacture quality goods.”