From Pwanagba Agabus, Jos
The Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Metallurgical Development Centre, Prof. Linus Asuquo said the signing into law, of the Executive Order 5 that encourages utilization of local raw materials in production process and the procurement of local products in Science Engineering and Technology by President Muhammadu Buhari on 5th February, 2018, is a milestone and a wakeup call for Research Development in Nigeria.
Asuquo made this assertion in Jos, the Plateau State Capital, when he received a Technical Team from Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria ( DICON), Kaduna led by Air Commodore Friday Ekpa .
The Team which was on a two-day working visit, came to thoroughly asses the facilities/Equipment domiciled in NMDC with the view to determine those that could be utilized by DICON to support production efforts in accordance with the Corporation’s local content policy.
Prof Asuquo said that the coming of the Team was timely considering the present economic realities that have compelled every country to look inward and harness its potential particularly in the areas of Research and Development.
He said, “With the zeal of your Director-General, Major General Ezugwu and my resolve to turn around this Centre, I think, we are in a hurry to bring about development.
The Director General informed the Team to avail themselves the opportunity to tour round the facilities at the Centre to ascertain their areas of interest.
He advised them not to be deterred in their findings, considering that the outcome of the visit would form the basis of signing the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two organizations.
Asuquo reiterated that the only way for organizations to answer the clarion call of Mr President on utilization of local raw materials is through collaborations, sitting MINTECH in South Africa as reference point.
The NMDC boss assured DICON that the agency is poised to meet its needs in the spirit of collaboration considering the Technical know- how available at the centre.
He informed the team that some of the pilot plants at the Centre are locally fabricated in line with local content policy.
Asuquo employed government to inject more resources, into Research and Development as well as industries, considering the pivotal role they play in creating jobs and boosting the economy.
The Team Lead, Commodore, Ekpa assured the DG/CE that since DICON has embraced and domesticated local content policy, it welcome any sister organization like NMDC that has the same mind set.
He maintained that the team of Engineering and Technical Experts he came with would carry out thorough findings so as to set a pace for the signing of MOU between the two Agencies.
He told the DG that with the decent environment saw in NMDC, he had no reservation in regarding the centre as the Epicentre for Research and Development in Nigeria.
Ekpa who is also the Director of Production in DICON informed Asuquo that the DG, DICON, Major General Victor Okwudili Ezugwu would be pleased to welcome a team from NMDC, Jos to avail themselves with the industrial revolution taking place, using local raw materials through Local Content policy.