The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, has called for a ban on all foreign products that Nigeria has the capacity to produce locally.
He made the call on Tuesday while featuring at the ministerial briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Mamora said the ban was part of ways to protect local productions and inventions.
He said most of the inventions by agencies under his ministry were lying fallow on shelves because of drought of investors and investments.
The minister, who said the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation had the challenge of taking research outputs to the market, explained that it was only when that was done that it would be seen as doing something.
According to him, while the ministry would continue to engage the relevant stakeholders, it is also thinking of a legislation to compel protection of the inventions before pushing them to the market.
Asked what was being done with all the several inventions by the ministry, Mamora said: “What do we do with all these inventions? It’s a question that we have also been pondering about. It will interest you that virtually all our agencies have come up with one invention or the other.
“But the challenge had always been taking these research outputs to the market. Because until and unless we are able to take them to the market, we would not be seen to have been able to do something.”
He added, “We need to do more in terms of having that handshake between the research institutions and the market through investors and those who are interested – people that move around with their capital and would want to invest. So, it’s a challenge that we know we are still facing which we will need to do more.
“We have so many outputs that are still gathering dust in shelves in various agencies. So, what we are doing is to continue to engage, to continue to have fora for these engagements where we can bring all stakeholders together.”
Mamora stressed the need for Nigerians to be aware of the local inventions and desire them, and for investors to be willing to embrace the products and get them introduced to the consumers’ market.
“We are also looking at how we can compel, as it were, a little bit of legislation that once these things are available, particularly if they are protected because we also need to protect the intellectual property, we can just push them to the markets.
“So, the challenge is about getting investors that will take these inventions out there and these things can then be useful to our people. Again, we also have a duty in terms of our own nationalism.
“One of the challenges again is that we have developed taste that is not local. Rather, taste that is alien. We have this tendency to want to get something from abroad.
“Again, I think government will need to really come hard in terms of a total ban, as it were, of things that we have capacity to do locally. That is why nationalism comes in,” he said.