How young a engineer locally fabricates automated rice milling machine

By Ibrahim Musa Giginyu

Engineer Iliyasu Nazifi is a young Nigerian entrepreneur with a vision for the nation’s agricultural development processes. Though a chemical engineer by training, Mr. Nazifi has spent over ten years in the manufacturing and fabrication of agricultural machines for processing and value addition.

As the Managing Director of Prime Mill Limited, Nazifi is the brain behind a lot of locally fabricated agricultural processing machines, which can meet and match international standard.

Speaking to Daily Trust, Engineer Nazifi said he went into fabrication to complement the efforts of the Nigerian government’s agricultural policies that have put the agricultural sector in a more advantageous position, adding that the manner in which Nigerians have taken to farming has been encouraging to the sector.

Nazifi stressed that as an engineer, he had to looked inward to see where he can come in with a workable solution to assist big and small agricultural industries in the milling and processing circle, taking into consideration all the opportunities attached to such development.

He also revealed that after a survey on the traditional methods of agro-processing, he came up with a much developed and advanced technology that will work based on the local procedures of agro-processing in rice mills with a process of parboiling from the bottom as against the modern machinery that parboiled from the top.

According to him, to achieve the set target, he set up a rice mill to show the world how real the new innovations are, “We fabricated our machines locally and started milling, we observed how the market accepted our product wholeheartedly because of the quality of products we have been producing. That was what gave us the motivation needed,” he revealed.

With an experience of over 10 years, Engineer Nazifi was able to establish a workshop that trained young engineers in modern fabrication of agricultural processing machines such as driers, postharvest processing machines and post-harvest machines among others. According to him, his fabrications were not an imitation of a foreign machines but a collection of new innovations that suit the local needs.

“Our fabricated products are entirely different designs, my background as a refinery design engineer has given me the chance and the ability to come up with innovations based on the local methodology used by our people to produce advanced machine that will suit the process and the desired machine needed. Not to sound proud, but the feedbacks we are getting from our clients are indeed encouraging,” he revealed.

It was gathered that several mega rice mills and other integrated agricultural inclined processing companies were fully fabricated across the state and also in other states across the nation. It was revealed that over the years, Engineer Nazifi has graduated to become a state-of-the-art fabricator using computer aided machines to fabricate agricultural processing machines of international standard.

According to him, Nigeria has no scarcity of talent as it has the right people and the right talents, adding that what Nigerians need is the motivation to explore those talents. He added that Nigeria has come of age to do bigger things without the intervention of any expatriate, adding that the issue at hand is not only the fabrication but the creativity behind it.

He also explained that with the new development, many investors in agro-processing were able to set up companies of their own because they can afford the machines.

“Though locally fabricated, some of the raw material used such as the stainless steels needs to be imported. However, this did not make it very expensive like the imported ones, at least these machines are about 45 percent cheaper than the foreign ones and that has made it possible for many agro-processing investors to own companies. It is clear that we can fabricate the agro-processing machines we need in Nigeria, this is not a myth. We have done it and we will continue to do it,” he said.

When asked the secret behind his zeal and endurance to withstand all pressures, Nazifi said, “There is no secret behind it, the only thing is for one to identify opportunities where they exist and try to capitalize on those opportunities. Nigerians can do a lot of things and thank God that they are now doing it despite several issues.” (Daily Trust)

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