There was a mixture of anger and laughter at the Nigerian Senate on Monday when the Director-General of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council, RMRDC, Professor Hussain Ibrahim listed kilishi production as a research success in 33 years.
While briefing the Senate committee on science and technology on the steires of RMRDC, Professor Ibrahim told the Chairman of the Senate Committee, Senator Uche Ekwunife, and other members that kilishi, a locally spiced roasted meat, made in the north and popular among travellers in that region, is an outstanding achievement for the agency.
Senator Ekwunife asked: “Your core mandate is to develop local materials. Can you tell us the local raw materials you have developed in the areas of health, brewery, construction, science, and technology, or agriculture?
“Just give us the synopsis of what you have developed or generated for local industries. Tell us about your breakthrough.”
Professor Ibrahim replied: “We have developed two varieties of Sorghum. We collaborated with agricultural research institutes, pharmaceutical industries because we produce ethanol from it and that is the basic raw material for the production of sanitizers.
“Also from the same Sorghum, we developed other products like Glucose syrup, livestock feeds, material for breweries, and starch.”
When asked if Nigeria is ready to stay independent from products like sorghum, Professor Ibrahim said: “We have not reached that stage. It goes through processes. We have tested it now but the stage we are now is the pilot stage.
“That pilot stage will now lead to the optimisation of the products. At that pilot stage, we would now see if what we have finally done are technically feasible or commercially viable. We have to determine that.
“After we had determined that. We will now ask relevant industries to take them for mass production.
“In our 30 years of research activities, we are still the largest research Institute. But to be candid with you, we are making progress.
“For now, we have developed technology to optimise Kilishi production. Research activities take time.”