The Federal Government has indicated interest to train biotechnologists, biochemists to help improve the economy through the setting up of friuts factories to conserve juice, manufacture pharmaceuticals, but insisting that it will also implement policies barring them from working abroad at least for some time.
The government disclosed that the country lost over 75% of its produce annually due to unavialbility of storage facilities and untrained biotechnologists.
Director General, National Biotechnology Development Agency, (NABDA), Dr Alex Akpa, revealed this at a conference aimed at training and certifying biotechnologists on bio-gas, bio-crops production, yesterday in Abuja.
“Let us draw up policies to make most of them stay back in this country, let us not train them and leave home for the USA or Europe.
“Nigeria lost 75% of its fruits production due to the inability to preserve and that discourages farmers to farm. We need to set up factories and convert these fruits to concentrates and store them.”
Akpa also divulged government’s plan of “setting up cotton production industries because textile industries in the north are folding up due to inadequate supply of cotton and that is because they depend on local supply of cotton which cannot be enough.”
On her part, Founder, Applied Biotechnology International Nigeria Limited (ABINL), prof Diotu Esiobu, said the training could help the country generate over $1 billion minimum and over $10 billion in the mid-terms “if appropriate investment is made into actual skill development.”
According to her “certification training can also help boost our economy by providing numerous jobs , create novel products and transform economy with new revenue sources.”
Prof Esiobu noted that “partnership with the government is useful but more importantly the content of the certificate is what will serve the certificate itself.
She further stated that “Nigerians who become certified by this international biotech certification in process will be known worldwide, they will have a global access to employment in biotech sectors,” she stressed.