FG sets to utilise therapeutic foods to combats malnutrition in Northern Nigeria

THE Federal Government, on Thursday, said it would utilise therapeutic foods produced by the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, to combat the long-standing malnutrition prevalent in the North Eastern part of Nigeria.

It also announced that the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology has been trying to get intellectual property for the commercialisation of the research findings by the research institute, as one of the major intervention programmes of the ministry for the management of malnutrition, which would also be exported to other countries.

The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu announced this while receiving the President of African University of Science and Technology, Professor Kingston Nyamapfene, who paid a courtesy visit to his office in Abuja.

He stressed that the Federal Government was set to tackle the malnutrition headlong; pointing out that his ministry through one of its agencies (FIIRO) was ready to nap in the bud whenever it occurred in Nigeria.

According to him, the therapeutic food by FIIRO all came out from local food materials available in Nigeria.

Dr Onu said the ministry was concerned with the development in the North East and was charting a new course by bringing technology into agriculture, saying “because we are working very hard to move the country from resource based to knowledge based.”

The minister said that the ministry was also in the process of giving grant to Nigerian Academy of Science and National Academy of Engineering for the publications of their journals, saying “this would provide the platform for the publication of post graduate papers by the university students.”

He, therefore, pledged to partner with the institution with a view to helping Nigerians and also strengthen the existing relationship between the ministry and universities.

Earlier, the President of the University, Professor Nyamapfene said the university, which was a World Bank project to promote Science and technology in Africa, has generated human capital for the continent.

He said that students were carefully selected from 26 African countries for Post Graduate programmes in Science and Engineering only.

According to him, “we hope to explore the possibility of supporting the work of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology through collaboration and interaction.”

The African University and Science and Technology was an initiative of two great African leaders, Nelson Mandela and Ibrahim Babangida who jointly prevailed on the World Bank to make investment in Higher education in Africa to promote science and technology.

It was set up as a Pan-African Unity to bring students from Sub-Saharan Africa together for the purpose of leaning and embracing knowledge.