The speed limiting device being manufactured in Nigeria is better and cheaper than the imported ones, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has said.
Onu, who spoke with the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York, said that made-in-Nigeria device was a research product where Nigerians in Diaspora could make legitimate money. The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) began the enforcement of the installation of the device in commercial vehicles in February.
“Our Road Safety Corps has mandated all our commercial vehicles to deploy speed limiting devices and we import this; each one costs an average of N40,000. “So, for just one million vehicles, we are looking at N40 billion, that’s the business. “But ultimately, this enforcement will go round, so if you have 10 million to 20 million vehicles, you can imagine looking at almost N800 billion businesses.
“One of our agencies, Sheda Science and Technology Complex (SHESTCO), brought the device to me; it is better than the best that is being brought into the country. “And I still asked them to go and work and get it to be cheaper and better,” he said. Onu, however, said that the Federal Government wanted Nigerian investors, particularly those in the Diaspora, to now take the research product and commercialise it. “Now, we need people like you to come and commercialise it and make the money. This is the message. “We have taken the risk off you; we have done the research and we have the product, then you come, we will give it to you. “I will prefer as a minister to give it to a Nigerian than to give it to a multinational corporation, I will prefer to do so.
“Because all the money will remain in Nigeria and the President is very determined, he wants to make sure that all persons, all Nigerians who want to work can work. “There’s no other way we are going to create these jobs unless we commercialise our research findings,” he said. The minister regretted pressure on the Naira, saying the currency had been fallen because the country depended too much on imported commodities. “We now depend on importing everything into the country, including toothpicks. So the pressure on the currency is too much,” he said. Acknowledging the efforts of the Central Bank of Nigeria (NAN) to defend the Naira, Onu said “Nigeria must start producing at home” adding that there was no shortcut to stronger Naira but local production.