Governor of Bauchi state, Mr. Isa Yuguda has expressed willingness to collaborate with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI) to develop the science and technology sector of the state.
Yuguda while on a visit to the agency’s head office in Abuja said seeking technical support from NASENI was part of his strategies to transform the economic activities of the state.
He sought collaboration in the development of state’s agricultural sector, solid minerals and human capital development as well as commerce sector having been convinced that it is almost impossible for any government to develop its economy in modern times without support from the knowledge and skills made available through science and technology.
The governor was conducted round some of the research and development products already developed by NASENI and some that could impact his poverty alleviation programme, and promote wealth creation and employment generation.
“I saw wonders today in NASENI having seen several inventions and innovations developed by the Agency. I am convinced and encouraged that Nigeria and Bauchi state has a great future,” he said.
He canvassed support of other tiers of government for NASENI saying it is right for the federal government to stop importation of science equipment for educational institutions or other industrial goods when the agency can produce good quality of such equipment.
Yuguda said: “I should advise that henceforth all importation of science equipment to Nigeria should stop while such funds should be diverted to further build the capacities of institutions like NASENI. When we do this we will be able to conserve our foreign exchange and also build the local capacities of our people even as such support will generate employment opportunities for the teeming unemployed youths in the country.”
Acting Director General of the Agency, Dr. Muhammed Haruna hinted on NASENI’s plan to set up an institute, Heavy Machinery and Equipment Development Centre (HEMEDEC) in Bauchi state.
Haruna also told the governor to support the operations of the center through provision of appropriate counterpart funding, saying that “the economic development, social well-being, security, even political stability can only be achieved if Nigeria focuses on advancement of useful technologies”.
He also appealed to other state governments in Nigeria to emulate Bauchi state in deliberately investing in research and development activities which can spin off commercial activities, raise new entrepreneurs and those that can venture into technology related businesses
With the new deal with NASENI however, the Acting Director General expressed optimism that HEMEDEC under the National Agency for Science and Infrastructure (NASENI) will soon commence full operations. When it becomes fully operational, the center will produce agro-allied equipment in form of tractors and all the farm machineries that have heavy component parts, modern machines for manufacturing of motor parts such as steering, gear, crank shaft, and radiators among others.
“If the Bauchi institute comes on, all the heavy component parts that are required to venture into automobile business, agriculture even ship-making will be produced here in Nigeria. The Bauchi institute will produce such components parts that have capability of producing other equipment”
Governor Yuguda therefore commended the initiatives of the agency and promised to partner with NASENI to ensure that the Bauchi state center takes-off immediately. He also said that NASENI through its activities has solutions to all the socio-economic challenges facing Bauchi and the entire country in the areas of industry and manufacturing and other infrastructures especially the development of the agric sector.
“I don’t know the number of Nigerians who know your own capabilities. It is only today that I have come to terms with the realities of the capabilities in this Agency that can make Nigeria to launch a rocket from here, rather than in China where we launched the last Nigerian communication satellite.
“We want a time-line set for the take-off of the centre, which would manufacture spare parts for heavy equipments and machines. I believe that millions of Nigerians will be empowered if we have this plant working. If it is land and infrastructure you want for the centre, I will approve it in advance, if it is other collaborations including counterpart funds, we will render it.”