The federal government has promised to provide the 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, 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.
He said president Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Minister of Budget and National Planning to proceed with the implementation of the law establishing the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI to enable it to be of greater benefit to the nation.
He noted that when ELDI and other institutions are properly supported, most of the electronic gadgets being imported into the country will be produced locally and also exported to other African countries.
The Minister of Science and Technology, commended the Electronic Development Institute, Awka for making contributions and progress in key areas including food security but encouraged them to consider commercialization of research items.
The Managing Director, Electronic Development Institute, Awka, Dr Patrick Okwu said the centre is developing a solar-powered farm robot that will among other things be able to weed, apply insecticide and act as ScareCrow.
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 was conducted round the facility alongside the Managing Director Science Equipment Development Institute, SEDI, Enugu Professor Samuel Ndubuisi among others.