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Nigeria Spends N3.38 Trillion on Chemical Importation – NARICT Urges Domestic Production

Lagos Police Apprehend Robbery Suspects Posing as Beggars in Traffic Nigeria Spends N3.38 Trillion on Chemical Importation – NARICT Urges Domestic Production

Nigeria’s reliance on chemical imports has reached alarming levels, with the country’s chemical importation bill soaring to N3.28 trillion as of 2020, a significant increase from N905 billion in 2017 and N1.39 trillion in 2019.

This staggering escalation in import costs has not only taken a toll on the economy but also underscores the urgent need for investment in domestic chemical production capabilities.

Against this backdrop, the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NACRIT) in Zaria has emerged as a beacon of hope, offering a viable solution to reduce Nigeria’s dependency on imported chemicals. Professor Jeffrey Tsware Barminas, the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NACRIT, highlighted the institute’s potential to transform Nigeria’s chemical landscape if given adequate funding.

Speaking at the sidelines of the NACRIT Day during the 8th edition of the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology’s Technology & Innovation Expo in Abuja, Barminas emphasized the institute’s readiness to mass-produce 10 organic and 10 inorganic chemicals, thereby mitigating the nation’s reliance on imported chemicals.

In his address themed “Investment Opportunities As Sure Path For Economic Growth and Revitalisation through Chemical Technology,” Barminas lamented Nigeria’s minimal contribution to the global chemical production landscape, despite its potential. He stressed the imperative for Nigeria to invest in chemical technology innovation to drive industrialization and economic growth.

Barminas outlined NACRIT’s capacity to produce a range of chemicals, including organic compounds like gasoline and plastics, as well as inorganic chemicals such as ammonia and metals. Additionally, he highlighted the institute’s capability to convert environmental waste into valuable chemicals and develop technologies for various industrial applications, including pharmaceutical production.

Moreover, Barminas underscored the environmental benefits of NACRIT’s initiatives, particularly its project to capture carbon monoxide, thereby mitigating climate change and reducing carbon footprint. He emphasized the importance of government support, particularly in light of recent commitments to allocate 0.5% of the nation’s GDP to Research and Development (R&D), albeit acknowledging that more substantial funding is needed.

Despite funding challenges, Barminas expressed optimism about the potential impact of NACRIT’s initiatives, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology transfer and entrepreneurship to drive domestic production. He called for a shift in mindset towards patronizing locally-made products, highlighting the need to capitalize on Nigeria’s technological capabilities and empower youth through training programs.

For entrepreneurs and investors keen on entering the sector, Barminas outlined strategies for technology transfer and capacity building, emphasizing the accessibility of NACRIT’s expertise to support small-scale industries. He cited examples of successful technology transfer initiatives, including the production of footballs in Kano State through youth training programs.

In conclusion, Nigeria stands at a critical juncture in its quest to reduce dependency on chemical imports and foster domestic production. With NACRIT leading the charge, there is hope for a revitalized chemical industry that not only contributes to economic growth but also addresses environmental challenges. However, sustained government support and a shift in mindset towards supporting local innovation are crucial for realizing this vision of self-reliance and prosperity.

This Article is Fact-Checked. See Policy.
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