National Research Institute for Chemical Technology says it is ready to partner with Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) toward using its locally produced footballs in the country’s local league.
The Institute’s Chief Marketing Officer, Mr Nasirudeen Aliyu, made this known in an interview on Thursday in Abuja.
The Zaria-based institute is an agency under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.
It has the mandate to develop technologies required by the chemicals industry and undertake research and development work into processes for the conversion of agricultural, mineral, and other raw materials into chemicals.
The institute is also involved in the production of functional polymers and engineering plastics, petrochemicals, their characterisation, utilisation, establishing and operating a chemical testing laboratories, among others.
Aliyu said that the institute was also working with the Ministry of Sports toward making the plan a reality.
‘’One of the critical interventions of my institute is the production of first made-in-Nigeria footballs. We are the first institute in the whole of Africa to produce footballs, annexing locally available resources.
‘’But having domesticated the technology for the production of footballs, it means that within our local markets, we can produce them using polyester, cotton, and other local materials.
‘’We are working with NFF, the Ministry of Sports, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, toward standardising these footballs.
‘’Very soon, we hope that the footballs will be used in our league locally,” he said.
Aliyu said it was disheartening that Nigeria, which had been exporting footballers, would be importing footballs.
‘’Nigeria as a nation exports footballers but we import footballs.
“Each time we import anything into this country, we are enriching other people from other climes; we are providing jobs for those people.
‘’And for each ball we produce, you can imagine its economic advantage. Each football goes for as low as N1, 000.
‘’If you produce some footballs in a day, you can imagine the number of industries that can spring up within such setting,” he said.
Aliyu said the institute also engaged in tomatoes paste production technology in collaboration with partners from Vietnam.
‘’Another critical intervention is in Nigeria, we produce tomatoes but we don’t add value to it.
‘’We mostly import the pastes from China, from other countries because of the absence of a robust production process for the tomatoes.
‘’Now, we develop a simple plant that can annex, process tomatoes; to package tomatoes pastes,” he said.
He said the institute had also intervened in the critical sector of the economy by producing organic fertilisers which was derived from the Neem tree (Dogoyaro tree).
‘’We also produce bio-fertilisers, mobile laboratory kits and school chemicals and reagents which are critical elements in the teaching and learning of sciences in schools in Nigeria.
‘’Our journey toward science, technology and innovation cannot be fast tract without school chemicals and reagents,” he said.