The Institute under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Initiative is partnering with relevant organizations on youths and women economic empowerment. Olio Nuovo Limited is one of such organizations that has signed MoU with the Institute specifically for training of unemployed youths and women under the Federal Government Amnesty Programme. This MoU was signed at a very impressive ceremony at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi on Tuesday, 10th November, 2015. While Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo, the Director-General/CEO of FIIRO and Dr. Dele Oyeku (Director, Extension & Linkage) signed on behalf of the Institute, Mr. Emmanuel Ekolama and Mr. Augustine Pasakomo signed on behalf of Olio Nuovo Limited.
The DG/CEO in her remarks said the collaboration is in the spirit of Public-Private-Partnership which the Federal Government is strongly promoting for rapid socio-economic development of the nation. She also said that the management of FIIRO is full of expectation that this collaboration will yield fruitful results and that an implementation committee should be set up to execute, monitor and evaluate the implementation of the MoU.
Mr. Emmanuel Ekolama in his response said he is impressed with the facilities at the Institute most especially the Institute’s entrepreneurship package which was the reason Olio Nuovo decided to partner with the Institute. He said FIIRO has all it takes to successfully execute the content of the MoU. He further said that his company will do everything possible to ensure that the training commence in January, 2016.
Samdpin Maritime Limited partnered with the Institute under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Initiative to train 30 unemployed youths who are repentant militants. The training took place at the Little Paradise Hotel, Effurun, Delta State from 8th January to 10th January, 2016. The participants were grouped into three groups based on their technologies of interest. The three technologies are: Fish Smoking, Cassava Processing and Fruit Juice production. The technologies were carefully selected based on raw materials of relative abundance in Delta State and ease of setting up by participants after the training.
Apart from the technical component, the participants were also exposed to the management component of entrepreneurial skill so that they will be able to set up and manage their enterprises with relative ease. The management modules include: Product Marketing; Product Cost Element; Productivity Improvement and Starting and Managing Business. Both the organizer and the participants expressed their profound appreciation to the Institute for the well packaged programme that gave the participants the opportunity to produce the products by themselves after demonstration by the instructors. Some of the participants could not contain their joy; they promised to contact the Institute on further steps to take (most especially equipment fabrication and installation) to realizing their ambition to be their own bosses and employers of labour.
The organizer, i.e. Samdpin Maritime Limited also commended the Institute for effective delivery of the training modules and promised to provide the link between the Institute and the participants until they fully realize their goals of setting up their own enterprises.
The Institute as part of its efforts to address the issue of unemployment and youths restiveness in the Niger Delta area trained 50 youths from Delta State drawn from Ubulu-Uku Youths Association under its National Techno-entrepreneurship Development Programme. The 3-day intensive techno-entrepreneurship development training took place at the Institute between Monday, 18th January and Wednesday, 20th January, 2016. The Director-General/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo during the opening ceremony informed the participants that the 3-day techno-entrepreneurship development training is centred on five technologies namely: Fish Smoking; Fruit Juice Production; High Quality Cassava Flour Production; Instant Pounded Yam Flour Production and Bread and Confectioneries baking which have been carefully selected to facilitate smooth take off by participants especially in terms of financial requirements and other logistics required to start an enterprise.
The DG/CEO further said that it has always being her joy to see youths taking up positions of leadership either in private or public sector though the new thinking and the paradigm shift is now self employment through encouragement and support for the youths to take up the challenge of setting up their own enterprises to become the Dangotes, the Otedolas, of tomorrow.
The Director, Extension & Linkage, Dr. Dele Oyeku in his remarks encouraged the participants to see entrepreneurship as the ultimate means of ending poverty, become employers of labour and legitimate means of becoming wealthy. Dr. C.C. Igwe (Director – CFET); Dr. E.N Dike (Director- Biotechnology); Mrs. Olubunmi Adesanya (Director – PTTIM); Dr. Yemisi Asagbra (Director – PALM); Mr. J.O Oderinde (Director – Finance & Accounts) and Engr. S.K Adeyemi (Head, PDD) also made positive remarks to encourage the participants during the opening ceremony.
At the Closing ceremony on Wednesday, 20th January, 2016, the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G. N Elemo congratulated the participants and encouraged them to take the big step of starting their own enterprises no matter what the challenges could be. She also informed them of the opportunity for project funding through the Institute’s collaboration with the Bank of Industry (BoI), a Federal government owned development bank charged with the responsibility of funding projects in Nigeria be it small, medium or large. She was also of the opinion that the Youths Association could work with the Local Government, State government and the political leadership of their constituencies to establish Cluster Processing Centers to fast track enterprise take off for those who could not afford to buy processing machinery and equipment immediately. As such, they could take their raw materials to the centers, process them for a token fee and market their products until they could raise sufficient funds to acquire their own processing equipment.
Before the DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo issued certificates of participation to the participants, a representative of the participants thanked the management of the Institute for the rare opportunity the Institute gave to them to participate in the training. He said the training has been an eye opener to most of them who are now thinking differently and set to seize the opportunity presented to them to set up their own enterprises against all odds to become employers of labor and of course their own bosses.
Representatives of Nasco Foods Ltd. namely James Iwunze- Marketing Manager; Gbolahan Oyenuga- Brand Manager – Foods; and Harry Audu- Legal Adviser visited the Institute on Wednesday, 9th December, 2015 as a follow up on the company’s interest in commercialization of High Nutrient Density (HND) Biscuit developed at FIIRO for school age children between the ages of 5 and 12. This biscuit is able to meet one-third of the recommended daily dietary allowance for the children in this age bracket.
The DG/CEO FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo informed NASCO team that the partnership with the company is in the spirit of the Public-Private-Partnership being promoted by the Federal Government and NASCO readily fits in, having made a name in the Food manufacturing sector in Nigeria. She further informed the team that FIIRO has completed R&D in the development of the HND Biscuit including animal studies, toxicological study, consumer acceptability study, etc. but will need Nasco Foods Ltd to fully commercialize the technology and mass produce the biscuit for the Nigerian market as well as for the Federal Government’s School Feeding Program.
The representatives of Nasco Foods Ltd in response to DG/CEO said Nasco Food Ltd is a privately owned indigenous company and with well known brands in the Nigerian market especially biscuits and Cornflakes sub-sector of the Nigerian Food Industries and that Nasco Foods Ltd has all it takes in terms of manufacturing infrastructure to mass-produce the HND biscuit. It was concluded that the two organizations need to sign MoU to guide the partnership.
In order to further consolidate the relationship between the Institute and Motive International – an American company, a team comprising of Ms Morgan Keay-Chief Executive Officer; Miss Jennifer Prillaman- Business Development Executive and Tunji Ladner – the Nigerian Representative visited the Institute on Monday, 25th January, 2016. The team was received by the Director-General/CEO of the Institute, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo assisted by Dr. Dele Oyeku (Director, Extension & Linkage) and Mr. Patrick Usen, the Chief Executive Officer, Inter-Heritage Promotions Limited, a Consultant to the Institute on R&D commercialization.
The DG/CEO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo said she was very glad to receive Ms. Morgan Keay and her team back to the Institute for further discussion on developing a sustainable model for the National School Feeding Programme.
Ms. Morgan Keay reinstated the interest of Motive International as a social enterprise in food and nutrition security and strategic partnership to facilitate commercialization of the Institute’s R&D results most especially in the areas of food and nutrition. She further stated that her company can facilitate the inflow of patience capital to both the private and public sectors in pursuance of the National School Feeding Programme. She said her company is already discussing with the Lagos State Government on School Feeding Programme and has indicated FIIRO as its technical partner for menu formulation and standardization.
The DG/CEO in her response informed the team that the Institute is always willing to partner with organizations that can add value to its programs. She said the Institute is willing to share in the experiences of Motive International especially on the management aspect of the School Feeding Programme with the aim to develop a sustainable model for the National School Feeding Programme based on best practices all over the world. At the end of the discussion, both organizations renewed their resolute interest to work together for mutual benefit in national interest.
A team of highly experienced technical staff of NASCO Foods Limited, Jos visited the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi on Wednesday, 13th January, 2016 at the instance of the Hon. Minister, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu for further discussion on the collaborative effort on the National School Feeding Programme. The team was received on arrival by the DG/CEO of FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria N. Elemo and some other top management staff of the Institute including: Director, Chemical, Fibre and Environmental Technology - Dr. Chima Igwe; Director, Food Technology - Dr. (Mrs.) Toyin Oluwole and Director, Extension & Linkage -Dr. Dele Oyeku. On NASCO team were: Technical Director -Alh. Bala Saleh; Supply Chain Director - Alh. Mohammed Shakir; Marketing Manager - Mr. James Iwunze; Category Brand Manager- Mr. Gbolahan Oyenuga and Mr. Haruna Harry Audu – Legal Adviser.
The visit was in respect of the collaborative effort of FMST/FIIRO – NASCO for commercial production of High Nutrient Density (HND) Biscuit developed by FMST through FIIRO for the School Feeding Programme of the Federal Government. The HND biscuit is developed to meet one third Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) requirements of school age children to be produced on commercial basis by NASCO Foods Limited. According to the DG/CEO, FIIRO, Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo, the collaboration is going to be win- win for all the parties involved and the benefit is enormous from the angle of utilization of indigenous raw materials in the formulation of the biscuits; conservation of foreign exchange; creation of jobs and improvement in enrolments of school children as well as enhancement of mental capacity of the children.
For NASCO team, the decision to partner with FIIRO in the commercial production of the HND Biscuit for the school feeding program was based on FIIRO’s integrity and achievements over the years. The team mentioned that NASCO as an indigenous company has been in existence for about 50years and has the capacity and experience to produce biscuit products to feed estimated 25million children under the National School Feeding Programme on daily basis.
Mr. Patrick Usen of InterHeritage Promotions, another partner in the collaboration, highlighted the negative implications of food being cooked directly by local caterers as a method of home grown school feeding as being embraced by some states in Nigeria. He said that the world best practices should be embraced as being championed by the FMST/FIIRO-NASCO-InterHeritage collaboration.
At the end of the technical session, timelines were drawn for some of the major activities including MoU signing (Wednesday, 20th January, 2016); Commencement of pilot trial runs on NASCO Biscuit production lines (Wednesday, 27th January, 2016); Stakeholders’/Consultative Forum (Thursday, 25th February, 2016) and Product Launch on Thursday, 28th April, 2016.
The Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu was ably represented by the DG/CEO, Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Dr. (Mrs.) G.N Elemo at the 20th Anniversary Edition of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition held at Eko Hotel & Suites between 26th - 28th January, 2016 held under the auspices of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and endorsement of Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
The Offshore West Africa Youth Employment Programme (YEP) is an important component of the Offshore West Africa Conference & Exhibition, an initiative owned by PenWell and designed by Lonadek in collaboration with the Energy Institute. At the event, the Hon. Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonaya Onu gave a keynote address at the opening ceremony, presented a Ministerial speech on Youth Employment Programme during the Youth Employment Programme Session and declared the exhibition open.
He was conducted round the Exhibition Hall by the Managing Director, Shell Nigeria Company, Mr. Bayo Ojulari. During the Ministerial Speech on YEP, the Hon. Minister reinstated the need to diversify the economy in the light of dwindling oil revenues especially through agriculture with particular emphasis on agro- and solid mineral processing by employing over 1000 indigenous technologies developed at the 17 parastatals under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology. He further said that the technologies developed by the 17 parastatals under the supervision of his Ministry have been found to have applications in all the 774 local government areas in Nigeria and could create millions of job if deployed effectively.
The Hon. Minister encouraged the youths and the organizers to look beyond establishing and developing careers in energy, power and hydrocarbons. On this note, the Hon. Minister therefore, invites the Oil and Gas industry in Nigeria to partner with the Federal Ministry of Science & Technology and its parastatals like the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi on sustainable, holistic Youth Empowerment Programme that will lead to massive job creation and bring to the barest minimum the unemployment rate in Nigeria.
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