Nigeria Won’t Look For Dollars Again If We Can Process 70 Percent Of Our Cultivated Cassava – Technology Minister

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The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji, has stated that if Nigeria can process 70 percent of the cassava cultivated in the country, dollar scarcity would be a thing of the past.

Nnaji, who spoke in Enugu State during a commissioning ceremony of the South-East office complex of the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), regretted that volatility in the foreign exchange market was because Nigeria was not exporting enough to earn foreign currencies.

The Minister listed various derivatives of Cassava to include starch, and animal feed, among others, adding that if the country could process 70 percent of the cassava it produces, it will affect the value of naira.

“If Nigeria can process 70 percent of the cassava we cultivate, we cannot look for dollars again in this country and it will affect the value of naira.

“Nigeria Is the highest producer of Cassava in the world. We produce about 64 metric tons of Cassava yearly,” he said.

“Our nation is blessed with diverse skills and natural resources across all six geopolitical zones, motivating us to extend development beyond urban centres to rural communities. Since innovation is the cornerstone of global economic growth, neglecting it jeopardizes our socio-economic progress. Therefore, we must prioritise the development of innovative technologies to propel Nigeria’s economic diversification away from oil and gas dependency.

“President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda is committed to leveraging innovation, science, and technology to combat hunger and poverty in Nigeria. This stance rhymes with the global economic landscape, emphasizing innovation as the key to development and compelling us not to lag. To this end, the Ministry has recently revised the National Science, Technology, and Innovation Policy (2022) and developed additional policies to accelerate technological advancement.

“As you know, our vision to industrialise Nigeria through Innovation, Science, and Technology has led to the establishment of Technology and Innovation Centres across the six geopolitical zones and Technology Incubation Centers in all states. These facilities serve as hubs for stakeholders in the IST ecosystem to foster global competitiveness by harnessing mineral and human resources. Furthermore, our commitment to indigenous technology is evident in our support for establishing Centers of Excellence for Welding Engineering and Technology, aimed at enhancing collaboration between the government and the private sector to drive development in the industry.

“The South-East region holds significant importance as Nigeria’s industrial hub, motivating the provision of this office facility to support capacity building and enhance productivity through innovative activities.”