The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) is partnering with the Applied Engineering Technology Initiative (AETI) to organize an investment forum for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The forum is intended to create access to production equipment by FIIRO.
The Acting Director-General/CEO of FIIRO, Dr. Yemisi Asagbra, made the disclosure at a news conference on Wednesday in Lagos.
Asagbra said that the investment forum, an initiative of FIIRO in partnership with AETI, is tagged “ Improving Nigeria MSMEs’ Access to Production Equipment for Industrial Growth and National Development”.
“The purpose of the forum is to position MSMEs for investment opportunities available in FIIRO.
“The partnership is to bring opportunities to entrepreneurs and would- be- entrepreneurs, various Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Manufacturers and members of the organized private sector.
“The investment forum is scheduled to come up at the end of April 2021, for MSMEs in the Lagos and South West region.’’
She said that subsequently, there would be fora in Port-Harcourt, for the South-East/South-South zones and in Kano for the Northern zones.
The FIIRO boss said the various investment fora would be capped by an Annual FIIRO National Exhibition and Investment Forum, involving a nationwide audience of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Institutional Investors.
According to Asagbra, FIIRO, the foremost research institute in Nigeria, has been in the vanguard of industrialization and socio-economic development of Nigeria through its research outcomes.
“We have been the technology provider to the micro, small, medium and large scale industries in Nigeria such as food and beverage, pulp and paper, textile, cement, ceramics, paint, soap and cosmetics and engineering industry.
“The institute has trained over 500,000 techno-preneurus and provided its services to about 70 percent of the SMEs operating in technology incubation centres all over the 36 states of the nation in different technologies.
“Thereby, creating millions of jobs through direct and multiplier effect of these entrepreneurs.
“We have developed over 250 research and development technologies and have completely packaged about 100 of them that are ready for immediate commercialization,” she said.
The acting D-G noted that FIIRO had successfully created impact and reached the beneficiaries of its research outcome which included women and youths, through collaboration and partnerships with organisations like AETI.
She said that such partnerships focused on the development and modification of existing technologies, particularly, in the areas of automation, instrumentation, and control.
“We in FIIRO are enthusiastic about the common vision we share with AETI, the similarities in our culture of knowledge in action and the added value we can create for entrepreneurs.
`FIIRO and AETI share the same passion with the Federal Government of Nigeria to drive technology and innovation adoption amongst MSMEs in Nigeria.
“In light of this partnership, both parties have come up with a series of training that can improve Nigeria’s MSMEs’ access to production equipment for industrial growth and national development,” she said.
Speaking on FIIRO and AETI initiatives, the Chairman of AETI, Mr Francis Kudayah, said the partnership opportunity would create sustainable growth for the manufacturing sector in Nigeria and accelerated national development.
He said the initiative would be achieved by optimizing the opportunities of harnessing the over 100 FIIRO inventions.
He said the partnership would also promote the utilization of locally available raw materials already mapped by FIIRO in all the local government areas across the country.
According to him, most of this production machinery has been researched and developed by FIIRO over the years.
Kudayah noted that AETI will also facilitate access to single digit loans through the Bank of Industry and NIRSAL.
“We intend to partner to bring these opportunities to entrepreneurs and would-be entrepreneurs, the various Chambers of Commerce and industry, manufacturers and members of the organised private sector.
“Our engineers will also be working together with FIIRO scientists to research and develop new production technologies as well as providing assistance in automating all existing and future inventions of FIIRO,” he said.
He added that the partnership would also be leveraging on the core competencies of AETI and FIIRO.
He said it would also develop the capacity of new and experienced engineers in the areas of automation, instrumentation, mechanical and electro-mechanical, electrical electromechanical engineering.
“We are very optimistic that this partnership will provide invaluable contributions to the development of the MSME sector in Nigeria, thus contributing to accelerated national development,” he said.