The crave for foreign goods by most Nigerians has left a huge toll on the development of the nation’s raw materials and the economy.
This was why the Raw material Research and Development Council, RMRDC, instituted a programme called ‘catch-them -young for youths in the secondary and tertiary institution to ensure they become active participants in research, development and utilization through quiz competition.
At the annual Raw Materials Quiz competition for secondary schools in Abuja, the Director General of the Council, Professor Husseini Dogo-Ibrahim called on young people to avail themselves of the opportunity in the raw materials value chain to develop their skills to become self-reliant.
He said the aim of the competition was to encourage the youth to participate in the production of locally made goods and assess their knowledge on available local raw materials.
Professor Dogo-Ibrahim, represented by a Director in the Council, Mr Emmanuel Kwaya said the quiz competition would instil the culture of using raw materials in science, technology and innovation in the youth as the country is endowed with great mineral resource.
“There is so much God has endowed the country with and I hope that our young people will imbibe technology, development and science and add value to our raw materials and make Nigeria among the community of Nations,” he said.
According to the Director, Corperate Service Department of the Council, Mr Chuks Ngaha the country must begin to effectively utilise its available resource through value addition to meet up with developed countries.
In a goodwill message, the representative of the National Office for Technology Acquisitions and Promotion, Mrs Caroline Ajie-Osuagwu, emphasised the need to build a formidable foundation for the emergence of knowledgeable and competent actors in the raw materials processing and manufacturing sector to improve the economy.
Also, the representative of the FCT Secondary Education Board, Mrs Rekiya Mohammed commended the council for the gesture.
“This Competition has not only increase the knowledge of Nigerian students to the various raw materials but also enhanced their research potential and build up their confidence to look inward and see how to make a career by developing and utilizing the local contents in the nation. We hope the exposure the students have gained during this competition will enhance their learning and contribute to the growth of the nation”, she said.
For the Coordinating Chairman of the Annual raw materials Quiz competition, Dr James Baba, the program would expose the young people to the rudiments of production to harness their talents.
Some of the students who participated in the competition appreciated the Raw materials Research and Development Council for the opportunity to be exposed to the natural resources around them and promised to utilize the knowledge acquired.
At the end of the competition, Government College Special School, Toro in Bauchi State came 1st, Federal Government College Okposi in Ebonyi came 2nd, while Dominion Science Academy, Owo, in Ondo State took 3rd position with catch prizes ranging from one million, five hundred thousand to three hundred thousand naira respectively.
Reporting by Rabi Momoh; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Annabel Nwachukwu