There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians have an insatiable penchant for imported goods not minding the harm to the economy. This attitude has seen our people bring artisans from outside the country to carry out finishing of their houses rather than patronize local ones.
The Federal Government in its resolve to block this serious drain on the foreign reserve resulting from capital flight as well as build the capacity of indigenous artisans has established an artisan centre to strengthen capacity of the youth to enable them deploy their skills in enhancing better finishing of houses.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made this known when he commissioned the head office and laboratory complex of the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) in Abuja.
He said, “With the establishment of the Artisan Center, indigenous capacity is being strengthened to enhance the career potentials and competences of our youths to enable them have the capacity to deploy their skills in enhancing better finishing of our houses. We should be in a position, in the near future, to export to other countries such skilled labour. We need this in our search to build a knowledge-based and innovation-driven economy that will be competitive and sustainable.”
Onu commended the NBRRI on its recent deployment and utilization of locally sourced pozzolans as replacement for cement in the road and housing construction sector, adding “it is a clear indication that indeed our beloved nation’s journey to enduring self-reliance has begun”.
Earlier, the director-general of NBRRI, Prof. Danladi Matawal pointed to the intensification of effort at securing a permanent and befitting property that would adequately address the accommodation needs of the staff and open up further opportunities for expansion as being among the steps taken by his administration to reposition the institute.
In his opening remarks, the NBRRI board chairman, Hon. William Wadni said NBRRI technologies had been deployed widely in various constituency projects and other areas, and were still gaining acceptance in the country.
He added that NBRRI had developed many innovations from intensive research work over the years such as cement stabilized earth blocks, NBRII moveable house, NBRII pozzalana cement with fully functional production plants in Ota and Bokkos, lamented bambo panel (LBP), interlocking block making machine and rubberized asphalt mat (RAM).
In his remarks, the chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Prof. Robert Ajayi Boroffice disclosed that the National Research and Innovation Bill 2016 had passed third reading and was awaiting presidential assent, adding “with the purpose-driven leadership style of Mr. President, his assent of the bill will be expedited to meet our national research and development financing requirement.”
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