Nigeria imports many things. Some would say Nigeria imports too many things, including products we should make ourselves since we have the raw materials in the country.
Part of the things Nigeria imports are adhesives or binders. These have wide applications in the shoes, leather, wood, textile, paper, paints and coatings industries and consume scare forex each year.
Keying into the patriotic spirit which informed Presidential Executive Order No. 5 which President Muhammadu Buhari issued in February 2018 and aimed at boosting Nigerian Content in science, engineering and technology, among other sectors, the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) is leading the charge to build local capacity in the production of adhesives/binders to create jobs and save forex for the nation,
To put the Institute’s research results into national service, a pilot plant for production of adhesives/binders is nearing completion at NARICT, Zaria. When finished later this year, it would pioneer local production of adhesives/binders from renewable feedstock for shoes, leather, wood, textile, paper, paints and coatings industries.
The NARICT chemical adhesives which are based on 90% local raw materials were formulated to improve the quality of made-in-Nigeria shoes and other products such as upholstery and garments merchandise, woods, paper and paper.
This industry-based research by NARICT was born out of a request placed by the National Association of Small-Scale Industrialists (NASSI) and the Leather Products Manufacturers Association of Abia State (LEPMAAS) at a stakeholders’ meeting in the NARICT office at Aba, on January, 20, 2015 where industry stakeholders lamented that available adhesives in the market were 100% import-based and adulterated.
Today and through the efforts of its innovative researchers, NARICT has produced quality chemical adhesives that meet the standards of the industry as testified by LEPMAAS via a letter to NARICT. These adhesives are made from Natural Rubber Latex (NRL) sourced locally and phenol which are extracted from agro-based products and other local petro-chemical outputs.
The NARICT adhesive products developed include among others those based on the adhesives property (thermosetting, thermoplastic and elastomer adhesives); based on the adhesive curing methods (heat activated, light/UV activated, moisture activated, anaerobic, pressure-sensitive adhesives and two-part adhesives); and based on origin – basically the natural adhesives (animal glue, Casein, Fish glue, vegetable-based glues and natural rubber – latex).
These products, when mass-produced as requested by the end users, will be the first made-in-Nigeria adhesive using local raw materials and particularly due to their anti-hygroscopic nature.
When upscale and diffused around the country as NARICT has the capacity to do and proposes to stakeholders, including state and local governments, local production of adhesives would be a money spinner by meeting huge and growing national demand for these products and through export.