Governors partner NASENI on innovation, regulation of importation

Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna

Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna

GOVERNORS of the 36 states and the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) have commenced partnership efforts to promote science, technology and innovation in the country.

The stakeholders say they are concerned about the rate of importations in Nigeria, noting that many of the items imported could be produced in the country.

Under the umbrella of the Nigeria Governors Forum (NGF), the Governors say they would work with NASENI to utilize its array of engineering resources and technology innovations for the development of products and services in the States.

The Governors also called on Nigerians to patronize the technology products of the Agency to enable it do more research, deepen the interface with foreign partners and produce more things that will help the nation de-emphasis importation of what the nation can produce through harnessing of local technology for made-in-Nigeria products.

The Acting Director-General of the Forum Secretariat, Alhaji Abdullatif Shittu, who received the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive of NASENI, Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna and the management of the Agency in Abuja, noted that Nigerian researchers could better compete if empowered.

Only recently, President Buhari gave directive to NASENI management to explore ways of converting all its technology out-puts, machines and equipment developed by the Agency for industrial revolution of the country. The President also directed the Agency to work with state Governors through the Governors Forum to utilize the solar energy manufacturing facility and other renewable energy technologies like small Hydro Power (SHP) produced by the Agency to carry out electrification projects at the states level.

Shittu described the Governors forum secretariat as a policy hub processing issues of common interest and mutual concerns to the 36 states of the Federation seeing to it that such issues are discussed in order to deepen good policy structure for the people in the states.

He said the forum was fashioned after the America Governors forum, which is a centre for best practices in governance ensuring that the states get along in policy execution that will be beneficial to the people in their respective States.

He noted: “Nigeria is running a federal system and to achieve a consensus, the only way is to have a forum, which is of two organs -the political and the technical. The technical organ is the secretariat, and part of its responsibility is to see to the policies how a number of things would impact positively, because the policy framework is holistic in addressing issues that cut across all the sectors, the principal, which is the state.”

He assured NASENI that the forum would continue to work with it to see how all of its activities would be cascaded to meet the desired needs that are required by the States. “Unemployment is an enemy that is common to all the states of the federation, and the only way to address it is to engage our youths to create jobs and wealth through the utilization of science and technology resource,” he said.

He commended the Agency on its achievements noted a lot of fund could be derived from the Tertiary Education Fund (TetFund) while collaborations could be done with Automotive Council of Nigeria and other research centers both in Nigeria and abroad.“We are well placed as Governors forum because of our position and that can give us leverage, the secretariat is impressed with your achievements, they are apt, and timely, coming at the threshold of a new administration in the country.

We would have the governors to come and listen to your presentation, which will be a veritable platform to open you up; so think of things that can add value to the development of the nation, while your challenges should be made clear,” he noted.

He also advised that the science kits be introduced in all primary and secondary schools to help the pupils think of inventions, innovations and creativity while more infrastructure should be built to help the pupils and students engage more in practical oriented exercises rather than be theoretical.

Haruna noted that the visit to the Governors forum secretariat at the weekend was a follow by the Agency to the Presidential directive.
He explained that NASENI was 1992 to produce locally made products and equipment for the industrialization of the country but because of policy summersault over the years and politics, a lot of things had gone wrong.

He, however, stated that in spite of all the challenges the Agency had gone through with different regimes, the Agency had achieved a lot in power sector which can help in rural electrification; transportation with the design and manufacturing of made in Nigeria motorcycle known as NASENI M1 and tricycle (passenger and cargo) as well as fabrication of airplane parts, which was one of the things that was learnt in the course of the Agency’s foreign collaborations.

He listed other areas of the Agency’s interventions to include education and agriculture. These areas, he said, were critical to the nation’s development, noting that some universities are already taking advantage of NASENI Centre of Excellence in running their higher degree courses.

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