Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora has asked the Federal Government to ban all foreign food commodities Nigeria can produce.
Mamora made the call on Tuesday at the ministerial media briefing orgainised by the presidential communications at the Presidential Villa, Abuja,
According to Mamora, the country is bereft of investors, hence most local inventions are rather dormant and useless.
He said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is having a challenge taking research outputs to the market, noting that when this is done it would be seen as doing something.
Speaking on what has been done with all the inventions the ministry has been able to achieve, Mamora said: “What do we do with all these inventions? It’s a question that we have also been pondering about. It will interest you that virtually all our agencies have come up with one invention or the other.
“But the challenge had always been taking these research outputs to the market. Because until and unless we are able to take them to the market, we would not be seen to have been able to do something.”
According to him, while the ministry would continue to engage the relevant stakeholders, it is also thinking of legislation to compel the protection of the inventions before pushing them to the market.
Admitting that the ministry’s pace may be slow, he said, “We need to do more in terms of having that handshake between the research institutions and the market through investors and those who are interested – people that move around with their capital and would want to invest.
“So, it’s a challenge that we know we are still facing which we will need to do more.
“We have so many outputs that are still gathering dust on shelves in various agencies. So, what we are doing is to continue to engage, to continue to have fora for these engagements where we can bring all stakeholders together.”
Mamora stressed that “We are also looking at how we can compel, as it were, a little bit of legislation that once these things are available particularly if they are protected because we also need to protect the intellectual property, we can’t just push them to the markets.
“So, the challenge is about getting investors that will take these inventions out there and these things can then be useful to our people.
“Again, we also have a duty in terms of our own nationalism. One of the challenges again is that we have developed a taste that is not local. Rather, taste that is alien. We have this tendency to want to get something from abroad.
“Again, I think the government will need to really come hard in terms of a total banning, as it were, of things that we have the capacity to do locally. That is why nationalism comes in.”