Reporter : UCHE NDEKE
The Federal Government has promised to provide necessary assistance that would enable the Electronic Development Institute (ELDI) Awka, Anambra State realise the mandate for which it was established.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, made the promise when he inspected facilities at the ELDI complex in Awka.
The Electronic Development Institute, Awka was established with the mission and vision of becoming a centre of excellence in areas of professional electronics, competitive in the global market, experts in innovations, re- engineering and technology transfer as well as empower relevant small and medium scale enterprise.
According to Dr. Onu, funding has become one of the major challenges hindering all the eighteen research institutes across the country including ELDI.
Dr. Onu said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed the Minister of Budget and National Planning to proceed with the implementation of the law establishing the National Agency for Science and and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to enable it be of greater benefits to the nation.
He noted that when ELDI and other institutions a
were properly supported, most of the electronic gadgets being imported into the country would be produced locally and also exported to other African countries.
The Minister, commended the Electronic Development Institute, Awka for making contributions and progress in key areas, including food security
He encouraged them to consider commercialization of research items.
Earlier in an address, the Managing Director, ELDI Awka, Dr. Patrick Okwu, said the center was developing a solar powered farm robot that would, among other things, be able to weed, apply insecticide and act as Scare Crow.
He said an electronic poultry system was also being developed to automate the collection of eggs, feeding and water system as well as cleaning of fowl drops.
Dr. Okwu, however, identified inadequate budgetary provision, fluctuation and continuous reduction in overhead as some of the major challenges confronting them from achieving their stated objectives.
The Minister, who was accompanied by his wife, was conducted round the facility alongside the Managing Director Science Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu, Professor Samuel Ndubuisi.