By ‘Dotun Akintomide
House of Representatives’ Committee on Science and Technology has tasked the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) to plug identified gaps between research and real development to ensure the nation reaps the benefits of science and technology.
Committe Chairman, Hon. Beni Lar while speaking at her committee’s oversight meeting at NBRRI, Ota, Ogun State said: “the overwhelming lack of linkage between research and development, research centres and industries, research innovations and products diversifications and utilizations are not healthy for the growth of the nation’s technological advancement.
“This manifest gaps needs to be closed if we must reap the full benefits of science and technology,” she added.
Meanwhile, Lar commended NBRRI for living up to the expectations of its forbearers, since it was established in 1977 for the purpose of capacity building, Research and Development in the area of building and road construction.
To boost science and technological innovations in the country, the committee frowned at the low level of capital releases to the institute and other agency under the science and technology ministry, asking government to include it among the 10 frontline ministries of the federal government for improved funding.
The Committee Chair promised to collaborate with NBRRI to ensure 100% capital releases for its 2018 budget as against the 50% released to it during the 2017 fiscal year.
“We are mindful of the piece-meal Capital releases to the Institute, which undeniably, has affected the pace of its operations. This situation is not peculiar to NBBRI but cuts across all agencies under Science and Technology Minority.
“We expect to see new innovations in your agency especially the expected move towards commercialization of Pozzolana products as promised the Committee last year.
“I wish to state that the Committee is very much ready to assist and collaborate with NBRRI to ensure that fund releases is improved, considering the critical role it plays in engendering economic growth. We are also aware of the urgent need to fast-tracks the enactment of the Institute enabling Act, in view of its potential on the operation of the Institute.” Lar said.
Briefing lawmakers, NBRRI Director General, Professor Danladi Slim Matawal said the institute has built capacity over the last forty years in building roads and developing new materials for the Nigeria’s construction sector.
“All across the country, we have empowered our zonal offices to carry out test on materials as well as develop facilities for research officers to train artisans and professionals in the building and construction industry.” He said.
Matawal who praised the contribution of House Committe members on Science and Technology to NBRRI’s achievements under his watch, equally pleaded for the speedy passage of a bill proposed by the institute which had since scaled through the first and second reading.
Committee members present at the oversight function include: Mrs. Beni Lar (Chairman), Solomon Moren, Aliu Shehu Yemedi and Tyjani Yusuf.