Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the firm has the capacity to produce 2.4million dozens of pencils per annum which will surpass local and sub-regional needs.
Speaking yesterday in Abuja when he received a local pencil production company Bamib Resources & Investments Company Ltd on a courtesy visit, he said:
“We commend you for the work you have done in the best interest of our nation. When I went to one of our agencies in Enugu, I found out that they were conducting research on pencils and I was very disturbed when they informed me that as of that time, there was no company in Nigeria producing pencils.
There were companies before that produced pencils but they have all collapsed, so I was very concerned. As the minister of science and technology, I felt that something like pencil which both the young and old use, looks very simple, so I felt that a country like Nigeria should be able to produce all the pencils we need and I had to make the institute in Enugu to make sure they continued with that research.
“We gave them about two years, I was not just interested in just producing pencils for the sake of it but one that we can say that all the raw materials are from Nigeria which will help us in job creation, creating wealth and moving a lot of people out of poverty, I am happy that BRPDA has made some progress, they are working on seeing that all the inputs come from Nigeria, the Akwa Ibom state government also has a company producing pencils but we are happy that on your own, you are taking the decision.
He assured his guest that the ministry would assist him to actualize his dream, especially by introducing him to other relevant ministries and agencies.
Mr. Muideen Ibrahim, Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, BAMIB Resources and Investment Company Ltd in his presentation on Pencil Project, said he was inspired by the assurance that the minister gave in his first tenure by saying “we will make pencils in Nigeria by 2018.’’
The managing director said he was delighted that the company rolled out its pencils on August 1, 2018, as the first indigenous pencil manufacturing company in Lagos state and second in the country.
He said that the product could compete in the global market because of its unique characteristics, adding that the company had decided to come and present it to the minister.
“Look at it; it does not break like the ones that are imported and it is heavier as well, it can also be customized for organizations and people.
“The production is environmentally friendly because we use old newspapers to produce it, so we are calling on people to give us their old newspapers, we will turn them into wealth,“ he said.
Ibrahim urged the minister to implore Central Bank of Nigeria and the Federal Government to make available at least, N 500 billion in Special Intervention Fund to pencil manufacturers.