Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has said the Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIRRO), Oshodi, along with other institutes, have developed over 250 technologies towards supporting the agro allied sub-sector of the economy. He said this while delivering a lecture titled ‘Economic Diversification and National Development in Nigeria: The Role of Science and Technology’, to participants of Course 28 at the National Defence College (NDC) in Abuja, recently. The minister said in the 1980’s Nigeria spent more than $500m importing barley malt for breweries.
He further stated that research findings by FIRRO indicated that sorghum was a better substitute to the imported barley malt for brewing, and added that banning of imported barley malt by government had saved the country huge foreign exchange (forex). Dr. Onu further disclosed that there were many textile industries in Nigeria years back, but that they collapsed due to inability of farmers to supply them with sufficient cotton.