Against the backdrop of the high unemployment level in the country, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, Lagos, stunned the nation recently when it claimed that it has developed a workable blueprint that could effectively curb the menace of unemployment by providing well over five million job opportunities annually in the country.
The Director General of FIIRO, Prof. (Mrs.) Gloria Elemo told members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology who were on an oversight visit to FIIRO that the package was designed to stimulate economic activities through processing and value addition to raw materials of relative advantage in each of the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country.
The institute said it has carried out a comprehensive survey on raw materials of relative abundance in all the 774 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in the country and has identified FIIRO technologies that are suitable for processing the raw materials in these LGAs for the establishment of micro, small, medium and large enterprises.
It also claimed that it has developed over 250 technologies in its many years of existence and these technologies could be deployed in the 774 LGAs in the country for massive job creation and economic stimulation through processing and value addition to raw materials of relative advantage in each local government area.
It is sad that FIIRO has developed such an avalanche of technologies over the years which it has not turned into massive use across the country.
However, thanks to the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology for embarking on an oversight visit to FIIRO and in the process, the country became aware of how the institute can positively contribute to creating five million jobs annually through its technologies.
Coming at a time when governments at both the federal and state levels are desperately looking at how to tackle the high unemployment problem in the country, particularly among the youth, it appears that FIIRO has got a major and somewhat right answer to the nation’s unemployment problem. It should therefore take the blueprint which it has developed on how the technologies can create about 5 million jobs annually through direct and multiplier effect to the federal government and thstates for speedy study and implementation.
In convincing the government that it can perform the feat as claimed, on its part, FIIRO must be ready to provide evidence of enterprises that have used its acclaimed 250 technologies over the years and the successes recorded with the usage of the technologies.
Funding of the enterprises could be a problem. But, if governments at both the federal and state levels are convinced that the blueprint could indeed create five million jobs or so annually, both the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Bank of Agriculture (BoA) would be brought in by the government to fund the projects.
It is a good thing that FIIRO has over the years been collaborating with relevant stakeholders in the country such as the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Fabricators Association of Nigeria (AMEFAN), National Association of Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (NASME), National Association of Small Scale Industrialists (NASSI) and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), among others.
With the extensive collaboration with these reputable bodies which FIIRO has had over the years, effective technology diffusion across the country should not be a problem if the government accepts its blueprint for implementation.