The dream of every nation is to be the main manufacturers and producers of its agricultural, technological and natural resources and if possible exporters of such products.
Nigeria has made efforts in various driving sectors of the economy to become less dependent on other nations for importation of the needs of the country by promoting patronage of made in Nigeria goods.
To attain this goal, the federal government has banned the importation of some commodities it was sure Nigeria has the capacity to produce.
This government has shown determination in its quest to attain independence by looking inward through fostering sustainable partnership and technical co-operation among its ministries and agencies toward the development of local content and national technical capacities.
The FG’s quest seem to be yielding fruits as the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) have agreed to enter into partnership that would enable the three bodies produce and manufacture laboratory kits and equipment to be used in carrying out research and development (R&D) activities in tertiary institutions across the federation.
Speaking on the need to patronize made in Nigeria goods, the Acting Director General, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Dr. Mohammed Sani Haruna has called on Nigerians to desist from importing science kits as Nigeria has the capacity to produce a purely Nigerian made laboratory kits.
Haruna made this disclosure during a couresty call to the Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Dr. Mas’udu Adamu kazaure, over the weekend in Kaduna.
He said: “NASENI currently has both the technology and local capacity to manufacture high quality, globally accepted science equipment producing machines developed by the Agency including a complete set of mobile science and integrated science laboratories equipment called the science kits both for primary and secondary schools.
The mobile Primary and Secondary science kits that are currently circulating across the country have received wide commendation for its suitability for use by schools especially those at the rural areas where there are no functional laboratories for teaching of basic sciences. The Agency has commenced production of higher institution laboratory equipment to be used in carrying out research and development (R&D) activities in tertiary institutions across the federation.”
In his presentation at the meeting, the NASENI boss Dr. Haruna pointed out that his mission to NBTE was to seek for partnership, with the management of NBTE on how the two bodies should start the production of a high tech-first class tertiary institutions laboratory kits and equipment in Nigeria, assuring that “NASENI has the capacity to produce such high quality, world standard laboratory equipment for tertiary institutions as it did for primary and secondary schools in the country”
While explaining further that NASENI has advanced manufacturing technologies, machines and facilities in all its 9-institutes, that can replicate any kind of laboratory equipment anywhere in the world, he said, “but we want it done this time in such a way that the production and design will not be carried out by NASENI staff alone but by participation of instructors, laboratory technicians, senior staff of polytechnics so that other institutions can also add value to the production of these laboratory equipment”.
Haruna, noted that the Agency, through its research and development activities has played a major role in the development of the nation’s economy by reversed engineering and advanced manufacturing technologies, adding that NASENI has made breakthroughs in its intervention roles in energy, education, industrial and agricultural sectors of the Nigeria economy.
NASENI has commenced production of tertiary institution laboratory equipment starting with reverse engineering of equipment. Two out of nine(9) institutes under the Agency, Power Equipment and Electrical Machinery Development Institute,(PEEMADI),Okene, Kogi State and Electronic Equipment Development Institute(ELDI), Awka, Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Enugu and the Scientific Equipment Development Institute (SEDI), Minna, where electrical components are produced including transformers and laboratory equipment have been equipped to roll out the first batch of laboratory equipment in that category.
“NASENI has consistently helped other institutions to set up advanced manufacturing centers, high power computing facilities, computer aiding design, virtual manufacturing facilities which we have the manpower and the facilities to do at the headquarters,” stated Dr. Haruna.
Responding, the executive secretary of NBTE, who commended NASENI for its initiatives and for playing a major role in the development of tertiary institutions, promised that NBTE was ready and willing to partner with the Agency especially in skill acquisition, training and capacity building, “not only for the students but for teachers in tertiary institutions”.
He expressed happiness that the Acting DG has taken the bull by the horn with a step further in pursuing now the collaboration of the two bodies which ought to have taken place over the years.
“NASENI taken up the challenge, with collaboration with others, in manufacturing laboratory equipment for Nigerian higher institutions will go a long way in conserving billions of foreign exchange expended on importation of science equipment to Universities/polytechnics nationwide.
“Honestly, we are not surprised. I want to assure you that you came at the right time and we have been expecting this kind of collaboration, we are glad that you have taken the bull by the horn by coming to strengthen the collaboration between us and utilizing the expertise of the tertiary institutions”, said the NBTE boss. He also noted that it was well known that every developing country depend on their tertiary institutions in the area of industrial fabrications and so on”, he added.
Relating NBTE’s past efforts in that direction Dr. kazaure said last year, “we made proposal to TETF for funding those proposals that were made to the board on the issue of machine fabrications in the tertiary institutions and we are delighted to utilize the funding from TETF and has set aside 10 million naira for each of the institution on the targeted areas for development as some of the institutes have carried out research in our institutions and we are ready to commence collaboration involving some oldest polytechnics in those areas you mentioned”, he said.
The two parties agreed to work together when the Acting Director General of NASENI, Engr. Dr. Mohammed Sani Haruna, and the management team of the Agency visited the Executive Secretary of NBTE Dr. Mas’udu Adamu kazaure, over the weekend in Kaduna.
The duo also agreed that a seven (7) man committee comprising two (2) NASENI staff, Two (NBTE) staff, two (2) people from polytechnics, one each from the oldest polytechnic and one (1) person from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETF), should be set up to work out the modalities that would form the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would be signed by the parties soon.