President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, will be a pivotal legacy his administration will bequeath to the next administration in 2023.
Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja during the commissioning of the President Muhammadu Buhari Technology and Innovation Complex at NASENI headquarters, Idu Industrial Zone, the president stated that the agency, under his administration, was being repositioned to become a Technology and Innovation Hub for national development.
“This is one pivotal legacy of this administration. With this complex and the available facility, the future of our national competitiveness among global economies is promising. We are sure that these advanced Science and Engineering Core facilities will assist our nation in the attainment of Africa Union’s 2063 Agenda and United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, 2030,” he said.
Decrying NASENI’s inability to attain her full potentials over the years, Buhari assured of his administration’s determination to reverse the trend.
“NASENI has a long history of establishment and has been in existence for over 30 years now, but the agency has been facing so many challenges that were mitigating against the realisation of her full potential in line with the act that established the agency.”
However, he noted that “under my chairmanship, NASENI is undergoing a reinvention and transformation to become a Technology and Innovation Hub for our national development.
“Consequently, we have strategically repositioned NASENI to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which is critical to Nigeria’s industrial development.”
Impressed with the great strides the agency has made under his administration, Buhari declared: “NASENI is now domesticating foreign technologies and product development through backward integration,” adding that “the recent attraction of 250 Czeck Koruna or $10.5 Million US Dollar Research and Development grant to Nigeria is evidence that our transformation is achieving results in building competitive agency.”
According to the president, “NASENI, under my watch as the Chairman of the Governing Council, has lived up to its expectations and has performed well.”
“The agency has invented useful and historic intelligence and defence-related equipment and devices and has engineered, in collaboration with reputable organisations, Armoured Personnel Carrier with advanced features and Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected APC, among others,” he further stated.
President Buhari also expressed delight that NASENI was advancing the Agricultural Self Sufficiency, Energy, Power and Home Grown Technology Programmes of this Administration through its fabrication of machinery, equipment and devices.
According to him, the agency “is currently implementing Smart Irrigation Projects for multi-crop season farming; the National Tractor Recovery, Rehabilitation and Redeployment Innovation, in collaboration with Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending,” stressing that the “assembly of two Helicopters towards first Made In Nigeria Helicopter and the development of Solar cells for 100%Solar Module production, using local raw materials are among patriotic contributions to Nigeria’s transition to a manufacturing economy.”
Buhari reiterated NASENI’s relevance as a critical agency towards the maintenance and sustainability of the nation’s infrastructure.
According to him, “The present administration has invested heavily in diverse infrastructural facilities: in roads, rails, water and aviation , among other sectors of our economy.
“After this administration, resourcing and sustainability of these critical infrastructure will present a challenge on the medium to long term basis.
“But with our deliberate repositioning NASENI to be at par with other similar agencies of government across the world and optimal performance, we are convinced that the future maintenance of our key national infrastructure are assured.”
“New NASENI is undoubtedly, among the most important legacy my administration is bequeathing to the next administration in 2023,” the president reaffirmed.
Buhari also lauded the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Engr. Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna, for his exemplary leadership, dynamism and foresight in advancing the cause of the agency.
“I commend you and direct the conferment of Excellence Service Award on you and a National Honour of Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic, which is to be conferred on you at the last Federal Executive Council of December 2022.
In his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman, acknowledged President Buhari’s commitment to the deployment of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to the centre stage of Nigeria’s socio-economic activities, noting that it was the first time a Nigerian president was visiting the agency.
“You are the first and the only Head of Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to have ever paid a visit to any facility of NASENI across the country in the 31 years of the agency’s existence,” Prof. Haruna said, stressing that: “You have already demonstrated a departure from commodity-based economy and leading prioritised innovations and inventions towards manufacturing and knowledge-based economy.”
He assured the president of the agency’s commitment in contributing towards overcoming the country’s development challenges.
“Furthermore, NASENI is ready and will God willing, soon provide innovative technology solution to stopping crude oil theft and bunkering, vandalization of power lines as well as surveillance and monitoring devices for our rails, roads and seaways,” the Executive Vice Chairman declared.
The goodwill message from the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, was delivered by Senator Uche Ekwunife, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, while the Minister, Federal Capital Territory, Muhammad Bello, was among dignitaries at the commissioning ceremony.