The Director General/Chief Executive, National Metallurgical Development Centre, Jos Engr. Prof. Linus Asuquo has hyped the need for proper and adequate intervention in the Research and Development Sector of the economy, which he said, is the bedrock of any industrialization.
Asuquo made this known while welcoming the Project Coordinator, World Bank Assisted Mineral Sector Support for Economic Diversification Project (MINDIVER), Engr. Salim Sallam who came for project inspection in NMDC, Jos recently, a statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations, Sunny Eweama disclosed.
The DG/CE while thanking MINDIVER through the Project Coordinator for its intervention in rehabilitating some of the buildings at the Centre which included WET Analysis Laboratory, SEM Building, Telecommunication Building, Foundry Workshop, Corrosion Laboratory, Clinic, Electric Arc Furnace Building(EAF) and Public Toilet, said that the gesture will in no mean way assist the Centre to realize its mandate.
He said that the management and staff of the Centre will ever remain grateful to the Ministers of Mines and Steel Development for approving MINDIVER’s interventions in the areas of building rehabilitation and procurement of some laboratory equipment.
Prof Asuquo equally thanked the government for slightly increasing the budgetary allocation to Research and Development from 0.1 percent to 0.5 percent, but appealed to the government to increase the allocation to 3 or 5 percent, as is the case in countries like Russia and South Africa.
The Director General emphasized that research and development globally, is capital intensive and for Nigeria to be emancipated economically there is need for government to re-awaken its interest in Research and Development through proper legislation and more budgetary appropriation that will catalyze research and development agencies like NMDC to be more result oriented.
The Project Coordinator, MINDIVER, Engr. Salim Sallam in his response thanked Prof. Asuquo for the laudable transformation he is carrying out in NMDC.
He reminded the DG/CE that his developmental antecedents particularly within his short stay in NMDC was the major yardstick that attracted MINDIVER to procure some vital laboratory equipment and rehabilitation of some specified buildings at the Centre.
According to Engr. Sallam, the major purpose of their visit to NMDC was to ascertain the completion of rehabilitation work at the Centre and supply of some of the procured equipment for possible commissioning and handing over to NMDC management for use in the shortest possible time.
Sallam used the forum to re-echo the emphasis the present administration is laying on Mines and Steel as a veritable tool for economic diversification which according to him, the Ministry has resolved not to be found wanting.
Dr. Abubakar Yusuf Tumi who is the Director of Finance and Human Resources Management in NMDC, in his vote of thanks, assured the MINDIVER helmsman that the newly rehabilitated buildings will be guided with patriotism.
He also appealed to MINDIVER to extend its generosity to the area of manpower development in current Research and Development methodologies which according to him, will enable the members of staff to be at par with their counterparts in other industrialized nations, thereby serving as propensity towards actualizing the mission and vision of the Centre.