By Lawal A. Dogara
The Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) and the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT), Zaria have partnered to fabricate a
fertilizer blending plant using extracts from Moringa oleifera plants.
Director General of NARICT, Prof. Idris Mohammed Bugaje who was special guest of honour during the RMRDC Special Day on Saturday at the 35thKaduna International Trade
Fair, said the prevailing tropical climate, savannah vegetation as well as the topography of Kaduna state had made the state richly endowed with abundant mineral and agricultural raw materials capable of changing the industrial climate of not only the state but the nation at large.
According to him,“RMRDC has never left anyone in doubt over its commitment to the
diversification of the economy of Kaduna state in particular and the country in general. This has been well demonstrated by Council’s intervention in establishing some investment projects and provision of improved seedlings. It is also noteworthy that RMRDC has partnered with NARICT to fabricate a fertilizer blending plant using extracts from Moringa oleifera plants.”
In his remarks on the occasion, Director General of the RMRDC, Dr. Hussaini Doko
Ibrahim said the establishment of the Council in 1988 had its background in the prevailing situation in the industrial sector of the economy from the early 1980s,namely over reliance on imported raw materials and spare parts, a highly dependent economy on imported goods and services including food, a mono economy with petroleum oil accounting for over 90% of our
income,etc.This situation became worrisome thereby necessitating the clarion call by the private sector for government intervention.
“Consequently, series of meetings and consultations spearheaded by the organized private
sector led to the formulation of a policy for the establishment RMRDC by the Federal Government and the Council was mandated to promote support and expedite industrial development and self-reliance through optimal utilization of local raw materials as input to the nation’s industries,” he said.
He said the Council’s participation in trade fairs and exhibitions was one of the platforms
they had used to create awareness on raw materials availability, investment opportunities and to provide relevant information geared towards the realization of private investment in resource based industries.
According to him, the Council had over the years been working with the Kaduna state Government in carrying out her mandate and to assist in the economic development of the state through partnering with the private sector to establish resource based industries like the castor oil, fruit juice ,etc, boosting of agricultural raw materials through distribution of improved varieties of seeds to farmers associations, among others.
He said though industrialization and development called for a focused promotion of investments in the key sectors of the economy, the harnessing and development of the
available local raw material which were in abundant in Kaduna state are very crucial in that process. Kaduna with its land mass ,a distribution of climate and ecological zones allowed for the production of a large number of agricultural raw materials.
He expressed with delight that Nigeria had adopted the Micro,Small and Medium Enterprises cluster as a strategy for socio-economic development and transformation, adding that the cluster as adopted in the industrial development strategy of the nation was aimed at creating a geographical concentration of firms belonging to the same complimentary business, which offered opportunities for the micro, small and medium enterprises to have a common facility and grow by facilitating specialization and efficiency.
“Cluster development however, involves more than geographical conce4ntration of firms. It requires cooperation, understanding, sharing of facilities, ideas and knowledge among a variety of operators within the cluster. It is recommended that emphasis should be laid on areas of comparative and competitive advantage. The Council is currently making efforts to provide the emergence of tomato processing under the cluster programme in the state.”
“The current Transformation Agenda of the present administration has placed greater emphasis on the role expected of RMRDC as a driver for harnessing the raw materials
potentials of Nigeria for sustainable industrial growth and development.The Council is ready to provide all necessary support; encouragement and enabling environment to enable the private sector play the leading role in growing the economy.