FG plans agricultural equipment, machinery development institute in Cross River

The federal government is planing to establish Agricultural Equipment and Machinery Development Institute in Cross River for the South South geopolitical zone.

The Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Professor M.S Haruna, who said this in Calabar explained that the choice of Cross River followed a rigorous evaluation of states in the zone, along with other parameters.

Presenting to Governor Ayade a letter granting the approval, Haruna said, “We are here to officially communicate to you that President Muhammadu Buhari has granted your request and approved the zonal Agricultural Equipment and Machinery Development Institute to be sited in Cross River state.

“The products of your achievements stood tall, hence the decision to site that zonal office here in Calabar.

“President Buhari approved six of these institutes for each of the geopolitical zones and I am happy to announce to you that, that of the south south is to be located in Cross River state.

“The effort and achievements of Governor Ben Ayade have continued to resonate all over the country and this was what informed President Buhari’s choice of Cross River as the South South zonal office.”

Responding, Governor Ayade, said, “NASENI is the way for us to go, because as a nation, there is no way you can progress without a good research in science and engineering. There is no way, even if we are copying technology, the way China started which is reverse engineering where you import something, deconstruct it and now fabricate yours and even that process requires the backing of science and engineering research.”

Ayade, who decried over dependence on foreign technology, said, “as far as a nation depends on another for agricultural equipments, for ammunition, for food, for drugs, then you are a slavish nation, you are a subhuman nation and that is what is seen in Nigeria today and that is the narrative Professor Haruna is trying to change.

“For us, there is no institute in Nigeria that is bigger than the one you are about to site here. The institute will focus on the manufacturing of the equipment for agricultural purpose and beyond that, whatever is the object clause of NASENI can be done from this institute. I want to thank you so much.”