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Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) has produced brake pads, bumpers and other vehicle parts from Kenaf, a fibrous plant.

The Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO) has produced brake pads, bumpers and other vehicle parts from Kenaf, a fibrous plant. The brake pads and other vehicle accessories manufactured by FIIRO from the fibrous plant were displayed at the institute’s headquarters in Lagos during the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between FIIRO, Kenaf Producers, Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (KPPMAN), and the Crystal Entrepreneurship Centre. In her opening speech, Gloria Elemo, director-general of FIIRO, stated that the research that went into the production of motor vehicle non-mechanical parts was borne out of the institute’s quest to industrialise Nigeria. Elemo pointed out that research and development (R&D) was useless until taken to the market, buttressing that this led the institute to collaborate with KPPMAN and CEC to commercialise the parts. Nigeria has a population of 198 million, with about 12 million vehicles plying on its roads. It has estimated 10,000 car sales annually, a significant drop from 50,000 cars sold in 2013. The country does not produce brake pads, bumper and other vehicle parts manufacturers, with Star Auto Industries Limited, only brake pads manufacturing firm, shutting down in 2014. Dunlop and Michelin, two tyre makers, left Nigeria in 2008 on the back of high energy cost, inability to compete with second-hand vehicles and lack of liquidity, those knowledgeable about the firms said. If commercialised, the new vehicle parts are tapped to reduce Nigeria’s import bill and increase local input sourcing in the country