FG begins plans to resuscitate PRODA
By Millicent Onaga, Enugu
The Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation in Nigeria said it has begun plans to resuscitate the Project Development Institute, PRODA, located Ekulu area of Enugu State, which it believes can do so much more for Nigeria as an agency that has a dual mandate in the area of research and production.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu made this known in Enugu after inspecting PRODA facilities few days ago.
Dr. Onu said that most of the agencies and institutes under the federal ministry of science, technology and innovation are primarily concerned about research but that PRODA has mandate not only to conduct research, but to also to assist Nigeria in effective production.
The Minister therefore charged the institute to not only conduct research, but to also ensure that research findings are converted into products and services.
“This unique responsibility the nation has given to PRODA is very important. We believe that the leadership of PRODA should ensure that this is achieved because the nation expects a lot from PRODA.
“When I went round the facilities at Ekulu, I nearly cried because the facility has already been eaten away by erosion and it is a matter of time for those buildings to collapse. I felt very sad because in those buildings, one finds very sophisticated equipment that Nigeria needs in our march to industrialization of our country and I just couldn’t believe that it was possible to allow that degradation within the premises to take place,” Onu lamented.
He said that the federal ministry of science, technology and innovation will work to ensure that the balance of work at the PRODA facilities would be done.
According to him, the property is very important in the vision that the federal ministry of science, technology and innovation has for PRODA.
“Like I said earlier, PRODA would not only be involved with research, it must be involved with both research and production. Mr. President has promised that from 2020-2030, that as many as 100 million Nigerians would have been moved out of poverty.”
“So we believe very strongly that those facilities at Ekulu could be put to use because it is so much money lying waste and we cannot afford to have that in our country because we need to put every facility we have into use and i believe very strongly that this would be achieved” The Minister added.
Report revealed that the Project Development Agency which was recently renamed Project Development Institute, is at loggerhead with the government of Anambra state which is laying claim to its facilities.
To this effect, Dr. Onu urged PRODA to be calm and continue to use the facilities while the federal ministry of science, technology and innovation enter into discussion with the Anambra state government.
“We are going to explain to the government of Anambra state, the importance of this very facility and let them know what the law says and we believe this would be settled amicably”. Onu said.
Earlier in an address, the Director General and CEO of PRODA, Engr. Fabian Okonkwo said that the Erosion menace that struck and affected PRODA production activities at Ekulu workshops gave rise to the relocation of the units to the headquarters at Emene Industrial layout, Enugu.
“Your interventions through the ecological fund arrested the erosion disaster from eating deep into our buildings at the Ekulu workshops. We certainly need more to help us restore our land and protect other properties therein.
“We have articulated further works to be handled through the ecological funds support for the completion and accessibility of our properties at the Ekulu workshop.
“With this site visit that the Honourable Minister has embarked upon today, we are assured that the external threats to our infrastructures at Ekulu workshop by the Ngwo people and No. 3 Independence Layout by the Anambra State government will be firmly addressed,” Engr. Okonkwo said.
He further said that the centre is one of the six skill acquisition centres approved by the President for Implementation under the Presidential Executive Order 5 for the success of the government’s Competitiveness Strategy.