By Akanji Alowolodu, Gombe
No fewer than 22,000 malnourished children across the 11 Local Government Areas of Gombe State are expected to benefit as the state has expanded its production of complementary food.
The disclosure was made by the State Commissioner for Science, Technology and Innovation, Aisha Maigari during the opening of introductory training on Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Operations at the Gombe State University.
The training was organized by the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) in collaboration with the State Government.
She said the State Government has started the programme in the state capital, adding that the State Governor, Muhammadu Yahaya has approved its extension whereby each local government would produce the foods for at least 2, 000 children.
She noted that the burden would be less, stressing that there are plans to patent the product to make it readily available through bulk production and packaging.
Aisha Maigari said that, “This programme has been very successful. In fact, His Excellency Alhaji Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya has approved the ‘stepping down’ of this programme to local governments. We are working in that progress so that each local government will now be producing these foods for people around these areas so that the burden will now be less”.
According to her, “Imagine 2, 000 by 11 local government areas. We are targeting over 22, 000. We have registered with the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control. It has passed all the stages. We are now waiting for the NAFDAC number.”
The Commissioner further stated that as soon as they obtained registration number from NAFDAC, the product becomes an intellectual property of Gombe state government that would be consumed in the state and subsequently be produced in large quantities for export to other states and countries to treat malnutrition.
On the statistics of Gombe children suffering from severe acute Malnutrition (SAM) , the commissioner added, “40 -50 per cent of children in the state are malnourished.”
Aisha Maigari also said that the state government would compile a data bank of innovators and inventors across the state with a view to supporting them with grants to invent and commercialize their products.
On his part, the Vice-Chancellor of Gombe State University, Prof. Aliyu Elnafaty, said that the training would help the University community harness talents beneficial to both the state and country.