Wealth creation: RMRDC, NGO to train 200 people on farming



The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and Think Agric Initiative (TAI) have jointly concluded plan to train 200 farmers on how to create wealth through agricultural practice.

Mr Oloja Olarenwaju, the Coordinator of the project, told the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Lagos that the programme was aimed at assisting civil servants to get an alternative source of income.

The theme of the training scheduled for Jan. 31 in Ibadan, Oyo State is “Agricultural Empowerment Summit, Creating Wealth for the 21 Century”.

Olanrewaju, who is also the spokesman for TAI, said the training would focus on how to boost cultivation and processing of castor beans, ginger root and tomatoes.

He said that the three agriculture produce were chosen because of their economic benefits and market demands since the training was all about wealth creation.

“A tonne of castor is sold for N360, 000 in the global market.

“If properly cultivated, a two-hectare land can produce one tonne of the castor within a short period.

“The crop is cattle resistant and because of its nature, the fear of having castor farm destroyed by cattle is allayed.

“Also, one tonne of ginger, which can be cultivated on a hectare of land within six months, is sold for N100, 000 and it can grow well in many states in Nigeria.

“Similarly, tomato is the daily menu in an average Nigerian home,’’ he said.

Olanrewaju said that the RMRDC resource persons would provide training on the latest innovations in processing these produce.

According to him, the programme is open to interested civil servants and unemployed youths.

Edited by: Abdulfatah Babatunde/Grace Yussuf

General news

FG restates support to Nasarawa gov’t on Science, Technology Education



The Federal Government has restated commitment to support the Nasarawa State in promoting Science and Technology Education.

Mr Mohammed Abdullahi, Minister of State Science and Technology, stated this on Tuesday in Abuja when he received Hajia Fatu Sabo, Nasarawa State Commissioner of Education, Science and Technology and her management on a courtesy visit.

Abdullahi said that the visit by the commissioner to seek assistance was apt as the ministry’s mandate is to offer a roadmap towards promoting science and technology education in the country.

He pointed out that  there were several opportunities being offered to students by the ministry to develop young scientists from the states under  Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).

He said that Nasarawa State was lagging behind in so many science competitions and programmes including STEM.

The minister added that such platforms offer the students opportunity to compete with others to enable them showcase their talents and develop their potential in science and technology.

Abdullahi said that the ministry had distributed science equipments to some schools in Nasarawa State in 2019, adding that the state would also benefit from the next batch.

He promised that the ministry would continue to offer technical and material assistance to states to promote science and technology education.

He, therefore, advised the youths especially those in secondary schools to develop interest in science courses as the driver of development in the 21st century.

Earlier, the commissioner said that the visit to the minister was to seek technical and logistics support for the state.

On the efforts so far to promote science and technology in Nasarawa,  Sabo said the government had been partnering with Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).

She said RMRDC in 2007, installed salt processing equipments in Keana and Awe Local Government Areas, aimed at reducing the traditional age-long and cumbersome method of extracting and processing salt in order to improve productivity.

She added that the equipments, however, packed up due to  mechanical inadequacy.

Sabo also said the state in collaboration with the  National Board of Technology Incubation (NBTI), had established incubation centre in Lafia to nurture start-ups in technical and business oriented vocations.

The commissioner appealed to the minister to assist the nine special science schools, three technical schools, four vocational skills acquisition centres in the state  with laboratory equipments and technological  support for optimal performance.

She also appealed to the ministry to support the state with computers and other accessories to boost science and technology education. .

Edited By: Olawunmi Ashafa and Isaac Ukpoju (NAN)
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Niger Dep. Gov. charges youth to embrace agriculture, leverage country’s raw materials



Deputy Governor of Niger, Ahmed Ketso, has stressed the need for the youth in the country to support various agricultural policies of the government by leveraging on the country’s enormous raw materials.

Ketso gave the charge on Thursday in Abuja when he paid a working visit to the Raw Materials and Research Development Council (RMRDC), headquarters.

He said there were a lot of unexploited raw materials in the country which required the innovation of the youth in order to address unemployment.

“ With over 200 million Nigerians and a limited workforce, it is only imperative for the private entrepreneurs to come up with innovations that can help address economic needs and increase employment.

“ As a country, the private sector can access the raw materials that can help young entrepreneur’s key into the agricultural policies of the government and put their innovative ideas to work.

“Putting these ideas to work can make us the best among nations of the world.

“Private sector participation in economic growth by leveraging arable land and raw materials will take us to the next level of food production and security.

“ We have to diversify from crude oil and be innovative so as to meet pressing economic needs and proffer solutions to world problems as we are currently faced with,’’ he said.

He, however, urged the council to embark on various forms of sensitisation of Nigerians to how our locally-sourced raw materials could be leveraged to create value addition.

The deputy governor said value addition to support government policies were very important to aid economic growth.

He said the policies of government could only be fully implemented if the private sector participated and keyed into them by contributing their quota through creating jobs.

Ketso added that the private sector should also participate through innovations and ideas that could solve problems.

The Director-General, RMRDC, Prof. Hussaini  Ibrahim, thanked the Deputy Governor for his visit.

He stated that Niger had been very supportive of the council in implementing the agricultural policies of the government.

Ibrahim noted that the working relationship between the council and the state, dating back to 1998, had led to the state giving several acres of land for sorghum farming.

He also urged the state to continue to show its unwavering support to the council for the promotion and development of agriculture.

Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Donald Ugwu (NAN)
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Science & Technology

COVID-19: ABU, RMRDC backed PPE kits pass SON test, set for launch



Locally made Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) backed by the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) may be set for launch soon.

The equipment, which had already scaled tests by the Standards Organisation of Nigerian (SON), and currently being tested by NAFDAC, is a collaboration between the council and the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria.

This was disclosed on Wednesday when the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Kabir Bala led a team on a working visit to the Council’s headquarters in Abuja.

Bala said  the council gave the grant to support the research and the production of the PPE kits.

In recent times, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government tried to reawaken our institutions to provide home grown solutions to these  problems.

“Solutions from other countries are not readily available, for instance when the pandemic started, face masks were not easily available, therefore, we had to look inwards.

“The Polymer department is involved in the production of PPE  against COVID-19. The department is working in collaboration with the council and the council has given it a grant.

“We ran to RMRDC and the council promised to assist us, so far it has given the research team N2 million and promised 300,000 dollars-worth of equipment.

“The products have been produced, they have passed SON  tests  and some of them are in NAFDAC, we will take it further from there,” he said.

The VC, however, stressed that the university had already produced face masks, ventilators and a four in one sanitiser among others.

Speaking after the tour of the RMRDC’s Resource Centre, he said that there were still many areas of collaboration, which could be sought between the  two organisations.

According to him, the university is also setting up an incubation centre, and it is ready to partner with RMRDC in pharmaceutical and ceramics industry.

For his part, the Director General of the Council, Prof. Hussaini Ibrahim said that the RMRDC had enjoyed a long standing relationship with ABU.

He noted that they have had a number of collaborations over the years, including the development of modular refineries, which was still ongoing.

On the production of PPE, the DG said that the council was given the charge by the Minister of Science and Technology to localise the production of the kits.

He stressed that the key role of the council was to employ reverse engineering in determining the composition of the products and support manufacturers with source of raw materials to reproduce them.

“We now have to look inwards, look at the ones that are imported, what they are made of and then we now begin to source the raw materials for their production,” he said

The DG also noted that the council was also working in partnership in the area of pharmaceuticals to develop medications that could tackle underlying illnesses that make people more susceptible to COVID -19.

“The most vulnerable group are people that have high blood pressure, people that are diabetic or have other underlying illness, we have been working on all of these areas.

“We have gone far in the medicine for Turberculosis, high cholesterol and we also showcased our anti-diabetic, which is a collaboration with Usman Danfodio University,” he said.

He commended ABU for their focus on the pharmaceutical industry, stressing that their call for collaboration was indeed welcomed and would be strengthened to achieve success.

The DG also pointed out that the council was also collaborating with the university on textile engineering, adding that the private sector was also involved so that the result of the partnership could  quickly be implemented.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the RMRDC had been in the news recently for having developed technology for Kilishi production in its 33 years of existence.

NAN further reports that the council had been involved in a number of research and development, which had impacted sectors such as  beverage, brewery and fruit juice; Pharmaceutical, chemical and automobile industry as well as the Agro-allied industry

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Felix Ajide (NAN)
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COVID-19: ABU unveils locally made ventilator




Zaria (Kaduna state) A team of engineers in Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, has unveiled a locally invented ventilator to enhance the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.

Prof. Muhammad-Sani Sallau, Director Equipment Maintenance and Development Centre, ABU, said this at the unveiling of the equipment at the university in Zaria on Friday.

Sallau, who is also the team leader and Acting Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, told newsmen that the university has made a breakthrough and working toward safeguarding the inovation of the product.

“We are currently processing the patenting as well as trademarking  to further safeguard the product.

“We are receiving maximum cooperation from government agencies in this regard,” Sallau said.

He added that the university was in the process of getting the needed equipment to produce more ventilators as part of its academic research contribution in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The team leader also said they had received all the necessary support from the appropriate authorities.

“As a research centre, we only invent but look for companies and organisations to sponsor the project for mass production,” he said

According to him, universities are research centres and their mandate is to develop the technology for manufacturers to buy into their research development.

Sallau urged government to fund the innovation to help boost mass production of the home made ventilator.

He said such development would also  assist to reduce import of vetilators as well as save foreign exchange.

According to him, Raw Materials Research and Development Centre (RMRDC) have acknowledged that ventilor produced by ABU engineers was the best among those produced with local materials they came across.

He said RMRDC has also promised to link up the university with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to endorse the project for sponsorship.

“The engineers have dedicated themselves particularly at this period of lockdown to invent the ventilator for the nation’s development,” he said.

One of the team members, Dr Kaisan Muhammad Usman, of Mechanical Engineering Department, ABU, said the project was to complement government efforts in the fight against the spread the Coronavirus in Nigeria.

He called on government to develop the university’s capacity to produce the machine in large quantity and also to fund research and innovation in the Nigerian Universities.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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