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COVID-19: We Prevent Capital Flight Via Local Engineering Solutions – NASENI



The entire world is currently battling to contain the novel Coronavirus disease. Nigeria is not left out of the frantic efforts to halt its spread. To tackle the challenge, the government is looking inward and deploying local and indigenous technologies to come up with innovative solutions to tackle the global pandemic and keep its citizens safe.

Keying into the Federal Government’s resolve to tackle COVID-19 head-on using local innovations, one of the parastatals under the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has come up with various inventions to stem the tide in transmission and invariably fight off the virus.

Recall the agency, with the mandate that centres specifically in the area of capital goods research, production and reverse engineering with respect to six broad areas, recently developed ventilators and various disinfection devices which was locally sourced and manufactured by engineers and scientists in the agency, committing they are ready to mass produce the devices if provided with adequate funds to start work.

In keeping with its commitment, the agency made indigenous disinfectant sprayer tunnels as well as its pedal-controlled handwash sanitizer device for maintaining hygiene available to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) for use in all its offices, including the headquarters in Bwari, Abuja.

Speaking at the commissioning of the devices in Abuja, the JAMB registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede commended the Nigerian engineers in NASENI for coming up quickly with local solutions, using available materials, thereby preventing the country, once more, from running outside for scientific solutions to a problem that could be tackled with local ingenuities.

He expressed satisfaction that the devices were tested and working and said the board secured the inventions because of its determination to keep the work environment free from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, and to avoid disruption of its operations. Oloyede said he was really proud of NASENI and its executive vice chairman, Prof Mohammed Haruna for leading a team that came up with preventive measures to the spread of a global pandemic.

Expressing sadness that Nigeria is losing men and women to COVID-19 pandemic occasioned by the silent spread of the virus amongst communities, NASENI boss, Haruna said the current trend however could be prevented by massively disinfecting homes, offices, organisations, public places, schools, airports and other places where the virus currently lurks around.

He said “that was why NASENI as a responsible federal government agency assembled its crop of engineers to assist the nation tackle further spread of the virus by coming up with a range of disinfectant sprayer devices like disinfectant sprayer o tunnel, disinfectant sprayer u tunnel, the single chamber sprayer and hand-held sprayer. There is the disinfectant sprayer mounted on tricycle, trucks and Hilux including a locally manufactured ventilator.

Earlier, Haruna, said the reason for manufacturing various spraying devices was to make it easy for whichever device that is suitable for use in disinfecting various locations, namely public places, homes, streets, towns, all nooks and crannies of the country.

As an engineering and technology development agency, the NASENI chief executive said the management of the agency realised that in times of emergencies like this, society would have to rely on its science and engineering community for solutions and that was why NASENI moved ahead to come up with disinfectant solutions before everyone would begin to look abroad for them.

Haruna further disclosed that “the agency desired to save the scarce foreign exchange of the nation and also prevent capital flight,” adding that was why it came up early enough with local engineering solution to this particular national problem.

A statement by the agency’s director of information, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said Haruna used the occasion to call on all government agencies, banks, hospitals, airports, parks, schools, hotels and other public places to patronise NASENI’s disinfectant sprayers in the fight against COVID-19 and make the Nigerian environment free.

“If the device could work in JAMB, then it can work anywhere in Nigeria,” it added.