The bill for chemical imports in Nigeria has soared to N3.28 trillion as of 2020, marking a significant increase from N905 billion recorded in 2017 and N1.39 trillion in 2019.

In response to this escalating import cost, the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NACRIT) in Zaria has underscored its potential to reduce the country’s reliance on imported chemicals if provided with adequate funding. Prof. Jeffrey Tsware Barminas, the Director-General and Chief Executive Officer of NACRIT, highlighted the adverse impact of burgeoning import expenses on the nation’s economy.

Speaking during the NACRIT Day at the 8th edition of the Ministry of Innovation, Science, and Technology’s Technology & Innovation Expo in Abuja, Barminas emphasized the institute’s readiness to spearhead the mass production of both organic and inorganic chemicals, which could significantly diminish Nigeria’s dependency on imported chemicals.

Addressing the theme “Investment Opportunities as a Sure Path for Economic Growth and Revitalization through Chemical Technology,” Barminas lamented Nigeria’s minimal contribution to the global chemical production landscape, despite its potential for greater output. To mitigate the heavy burden of chemical imports, he advocated for increased investment in chemical technology innovation, crucial for industrialization and chemical production in the country.

Barminas highlighted NACRIT’s capacity to mass-produce various chemicals, including organic and inorganic compounds, and its ability to convert environmental waste into valuable products such as ammonia sulfate and iron sulfate. Additionally, the institute is involved in developing chemical technologies for converting fiber into alternative products and capturing carbon monoxide from the atmosphere to produce high-purity precipitated calcium carbonate, essential for pharmaceutical production.

Amidst challenges such as funding constraints, Barminas expressed optimism regarding the government’s recent commitment to allocate 0.5 percent of the nation’s GDP to Research and Development (R&D), viewing it as a positive step forward. He emphasized the importance of encouraging entrepreneurship and promoting technology transfer to facilitate the adoption of locally developed solutions and reduce reliance on imported products.

For entrepreneurs and individuals interested in entering the sector, Barminas highlighted available strategies, including technology transfer training programs aimed at enhancing employability skills among youths. He underscored the institute’s commitment to facilitating technology transfer to small-scale industries, making innovative solutions accessible and affordable for wider adoption.

In conclusion, Barminas emphasized the need for concerted efforts to promote locally made products and foster a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship in Nigeria. He reiterated the importance of leveraging available resources and expertise to drive sustainable economic growth and development in the country.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *