Ahead of May 29, 2023 handover date, President Muhammadu Buhari has declared the repositioned National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) would be one of his legacy gifts to his successor.
Buhari said yesterday that he consciously ensured the transformation of NASENI to ease the future maintenance and sustainability of Nigeria’s key national infrastructure.
An elated president over the new feats of the agency, said it is now empowered to develop local capacity in machine-building and fabrication, which is critical to Nigeria’s industrial development
The president said the new NASENI would forge international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic advancement of the country.
He spoke yesterday at the commissioning of Muhammadu Buhari Technology and Innovation Complex at NASENI headquarters in Idu, Abuja.
Buhari said, “The present administration has invested heavily in diverse infrastructural facilities in the roads, rails, water, and aviation among other sectors of our national economy.
On his part, the executive vice chairman and chief executive of NASENI, Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna, said the agency would soon provide innovative technology solutions to crude oil theft and illegal bunkering.
The president further said that, “beyond my administration, the maintenance, resourcing, and sustainability of these critical infrastructures would have been a challenge on the medium to long-term basis.
“However, with our deliberate repositioning of NASENI to be at par with other similar agencies of government across the world and optimal performance, we are convinced that the future maintenance and sustainability of our key national infrastructures are ascertained.
“New NASENI is undoubtedly among the most important legacy my administration is bequeathing to the next Government in 2023.”
Buhari assured Nigerians of accelerated industrial development with focus on local capacity in machine building and fabrication.
He said, “NASENI has a long history of establishment and has been in existence for over 30 years now, but the agency has been facing myriads of challenges that were mitigating against the realization of her full potential in line with the Act that established the agency.
“However, under my chairmanship, NASENI is undergoing reinvention and transformation to become a Technology and Innovation hub for our national development strides.
“Consequently, I have strategically repositioned NASENI to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which is critical to Nigeria’s industrial development.
“The agency is now empowered through the provision of adequate financial, human and material resources and the autonomy and independence to forge international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic and industrial advancement of the country.
“The agency is now domesticating foreign technologies and product development through backward integration. The recent attraction of 250 million Czeck Koruna or US$10.5million Research and Development grant to Nigeria by NASENI is evident that our transformation is achieving result of building a globally competitive agency.”
The president listed some outstanding achievements of NASENI under his administration.
He added, “Let me blow my trumpets myself and state that NASENI under my watch as the Chairman of the Governing Board has lived up to its expectation and has performed excellently.
“The agency has invented useful and historic intelligence and defense related equipment and devices and has reversed engineered in collaboration with reputable organizations: Armored Personnel Carrier (APC) with advanced features and Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) APC among others.
“It is currently implementing Smart irrigation projects for multi crop season farming; the National Tractor recovery, rehabilitation and redeployment (NTRRR) innovation in collaboration with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL);
“The assembly of two Helicopters towards the first Made in Nigeria Helicopter and the development of Solar cells for 100 percent solar module production using local raw materials among others are patriotic contributions to Nigerian transition to manufacturing Economy.”
Consequently, Buhari conferred National Honour on Haruna.
He said, “While commending Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna the executive vice chairman for exemplary leadership and tireless efforts, let me appreciate you the EVC and direct the conferment of Excellent Service Award to you and a National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR) which is to be conferred on you at the last Federal Executive Council of December 2022.
“With this complex being commissioned today and the available facility, the foundation of Nigeria’s knowledge economy is laid and the future of our national competitiveness among global economies is clearly great.
“We are sure that these advanced Science and Engineering Core facilities will assist our nation in the attainment of African Union’s Agenda 2063 and United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, 2030.”
On his part, Haruna said the agency will soon provide innovative technology solutions to crude oil theft and bunkering among others.
He said, “Furthermore, NASENI is ready and God willing soon to provide innovative technology solutions to stopping crude oil theft and bunkering; vandalization of power lines and pipelines as well as surveillance and monitoring devices for our rails, roads and seaways.”
On the security challenges facing the nation, he said some of the equipment required by the military will now be locally innovated.
He said: “We commend your Excellency’s administration for supporting the military to defeat non-state actors through constant procurement of military hardware in attending to our multifaceted unconventional security challenges.
“NASENI has observed that the military is the highest user and importer of highly technical equipment in the country. Accordingly, the agency discerned the need to collaborate with the military to study various aspects of their technical needs in order to combine the capabilities of both organizations for national sustainability.
“Of course, new weapons and state-of-art capabilities must be locally innovated and developed with the intent to counter and disrupt perceived enemy capabilities as well as shield the Nation from unforeseen sanctions and capital flight.”