Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) is one of the parastatals under the aegis of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST).
Established on the 1st of April 1978, by the federal government under the National Science and Technology Development Agency Bill (Now Act) 1977.
The institute was established to conduct integrated Research and Development activities into the varied aspects of the building and road construction industries. Which was later expanded in 1993 to include Research and Development (R&D) into all aspects of Engineering Materials related to the construction industry.
Importance and Responsibilities of NBRRI
With a vision to build capacity and set the pace in indigenous construction technology development to improve the quality of life of Nigerians in the areas of affordable housing and increased economic empowerment through integrated research and development in the country.
Under the supervision of as the Director-General/Chief Executive Officer, NBRRI, Prof. Danladi S. Matawal, the organisation for the first time in the history of this country and Africa at large was able to launch an invention called the ‘engineering subgrade atlas of Nigeria’ sometime in 2017.
For the purpose of soils map being extremely useful for planning in the engineering sector to every stakeholder and development aspirations of the country.
This kind of invention has a universal application in the design and construction of Earth and gravity dams, bridges, roadworks, retaining wall structures, tunnelling, slope stability, shallow and deep foundation for all structural works and the likes of the aforementioned.
It will interest you to know that the institute achieved its goal after several attempts of trial and error but never gave up till it succeeded. NBRRI produces several technical reports which serves as reference materials for professionals and stakeholders in the construction industry
It will be fair to say that NBRRI has over the years recorded tremendous achievements in research and development activities of its mandate. These are concrete results and innovations which can be seen like for instance, brick making machine, madortile package, etc
Referring to the former, the institute in 2011 developed a new technology for the moulding of bricks known as cement stabilized bricks technology. The new technology was to reduce the cost of building due to a cheap alternative building material that the technology used in the production of bricks.
Federal government’s involvement
In support to see the institute get to greater heights in its ambition, the recent appointment by the office of President Muhammadu Buhari approving a constitution of the Governing Boards of agencies and parastatals, under some ministries, and also the appointment of ‘eminently qualified Nigerians’ to fill the board positions, numbering 209 chairmen and 1,258 members, which the institute was part of the board constituted.
According to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Boss Mustapha, said the President considered the approval for the constitution of the boards and the appointments, necessary, to provide a proper governance and oversight structure for government agencies and parastatals.
“The constitution of the boards with the appointments is a demonstration of this government’s efforts aimed at building strong institutions of governance, and by extension, improving the quality of policy formulation and supervision”.
In addition to this, NBRRI has research collaboration with other state and foreign agencies. Viewing this back to 2009, the institutes signed a memorandum of understanding to research into building and road construction material with its Ghanaian counterparts. While in June 2011, the NBRRI announced its partnering with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria for the construction of 1,000 housing units every federal state of Nigeria. The partnership required that all the buildings be constructed using alternative building materials that had been developed by the institute.
The institute engages the Federal Government on various policies that regulates and improves the quality of buildings in Nigeria. Looking back to year 2011, the Federal Government announced that it would empower the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute to set up a Material Testing Laboratory to be cited in the Federal Capital Territory. To provide a facility for the testing of building material before use. The facility had become necessary due to the regular occurrence of collapsing buildings. The facility was to function as research and education centre for tertiary institutions and the construction industry.
In addition to the steps taking by the institute in carrying out its obligations, the Director-General, NBRRI Prof Danladi Matawal established a skill acquisition centre for all interested Nigerians especially the youths.
According to him, he said due to the over 30 million youths unemployed in Nigeria and do not have means of livelihood, stressing the need for effective and efficient youth empowerment programmes and strategies with a view to reducing unemployment.
“Statistically, Nigeria has a youth population of about 67 million, aged between 15 and 35 years. 42 percent of these young people don’t have means of livelihood while only about 20 percent have more than secondary certificate. These figures reveal that majority of the youths in our country find it difficult to make ends meet”.
The institute replaced the West African Building Research Institute which was established in 1952 by building professionals from Ghana and Nigeria in Accra, Ghana. Membership of the institute was made up of building engineers from both countries. When Nigeria gained independence from Britain, the Nigerian members of the institute left the West African Building Research Institute to form the Nigerian Building and Road Research Institute in 1978.