Nigeria will soon stop importing pencils as local production will commence in the next two years.
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu made this disclosure at a facility tour of Projects Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu.
In line with the vision of the current administration, Onu said the project would create over 400,000 jobs in the country, lamenting that it was wrong importing pencils when we have the capacity to produce them in the country.
“It is unthinkable that 55 years after independence, Nigeria Is still not producing pencils when we have the human and material resources in the country.
“PRODA has to produce pencils for Nigeria and they have given me the assurance that this can be done and that with pencil manufacture here we will be creating 400,000 new jobs.
The (Muhammadu) Buhari administration is committed to creating new jobs and growing our economy,” he said.
The minister said that the ministry would give PRODA the necessary assistance to realise the project.
He said that the agency could do more than it was doing now, with the needed support.
He said that the country could leverage on pencil production to increase its foreign earnings.
For the information of Nigerians, pencil is not produced anywhere in West Africa, so I am directing PRODA to realise this within the next years,” he said.
The minister also said that government was interested in the production of Nigerian made six cylinder engines.
“The six cylinder engine is one thing they must produce.
This is a mandate they have to work on because once we have the capacity to produce our own engine then many of our defence and manufacturing requirements will be met.
We need to build the capacity for self-reliance in Nigeria. We are tired of copying others and importing all sorts of things. We want others to come to Nigeria and learn,” he said.
Onu said that the ministry had 17 agencies, adding that all the agencies would specialise in their areas of comparative advantage and efficiency to grow the economy.