OLUGBENGA Alayande, the Acting Director, Intelectual Property and Technology, Technical University, Ibadan, on Tuesday called for policies which would harness indigenous technology for economic growth.
Alayande told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that harnessing local technology would boost Nigeria’s industrialisation drive.
The don said that there were underutiilised indigenous knowledge and technologies across the country with each unique to a particular region.
He said the contributions of indigenous technology such as aluminium and bronze casting in Saki and Benin as well as leather production in the North to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) had been grossly insignificant.
The don said aluminium casting began in Saki in the 1960s, with pot making becoming very popular in the area.
“Though the vocation was imported from Ghana, but Saki indiginous engineers perfected the art of making pots. “Therefore, the local aluminium pot came to be known as Saki pot.
“However, it might surprise you to know that technology is going into extinction now because of the crude skills and methods being deployed.
“Another unique indigenous technology that can bring a lot of economic gain to Nigeria is bronze casting in Benin.
“If you have been to the Benin palace or any notable museum, then, you would appreciate its uniqueness and the fact that this creativity is uncommon.
“I tell you the truth, the land that produced bronze is not in short supply, but the people are not motivated to engage in bronze casting because they are no more patronised due to outdated means of production.
” Furthermore, the abundance of hides and skin in Northern Nigeria should be a blessing because we should not be short of pure leather products.
“However, what we know is that one way or the other, leather leaves the north for Morocco for partial conversion and sent to Italy for full refinement into various leather fabrics.
” It is then sent back to Nigeria where we are forced to pay for it in dollars.
“The government had in the past made efforts to establish the Leather and Chemical Industry in Zaria, but the impact is yet to be felt.
“Otherwise, there should not be any need to send our raw leather to any country for refinement.
“Tye and dye is another important industry that must be given adequate attention for Nigeria to be self-sufficient.
“Imagine, Abeokuta that is the home of tye and dye can no more give us quality products in that sector.
“If you have noticed, the tye and dye products that are imported now have lower prices and the quality is better.
“Those foreign experts may have closely monitored the Abeokuta brand, took it to their country, modernised it and made it a global product,” Alayande said.
The scientist said government must pay deliberate attention to indigenous technologies available and upscale the skills of the practitioners through capacity building.
He advised that academic institutions located where indigenous technologies were domiciled be mandated to develop them.
The don also called on institutions to help in upscaling the skills of indigenous engineers for improved productivity. (NAN)
– Jun. 16, 2020 @ 17:55 GMT |