The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna said the involvement of commercial companies and firms expected to pay NASENI’s 0.25% Levy will not only build and sustain a home-grown technology but also prevent avoidable capital flights; BINTA SHAMA reports.
Sustaining homegrown technology
Recently, the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Engr. Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna indicated his intention to meet with all NASENI-levy stakeholders to press home the inherent benefits that will accrue to the private sector’s active participation and support for activities and programmes of the agency. Prof. Haruna’s unrivalled passion and commitment to see a new industrialised Nigeria is said to disallow him leave any stone unturned in harnessing all efforts toward streamlining the agency’s corporate goals. He said he is always ready to explain to everyone the need to achieve NASENI’s optimum impact on the socio-economic lives of the country.
“The involvement of the commercial companies and firms whom the Finance Act 2021 expected would pay NASENI’s 0.25% Levy will not only build and sustain a home-grown technology advancement of the country but also prevent avoidable capital flights and expensive foreign exchange used in search of machines and equipment to sustain production and manufacturing endeavors by the companies locally. When it comes to technology equipment and machines, NASENI’s slogan is ‘’ASK US First” before looking beyond the borders of Nigeria.
“The optimum cooperation and support from the commercial companies and firms are now being sought by NASENI for the business concerns to comply with the obligations as stipulated in the Finance Act 2021 (as amended), more so, it is clear that with the activities and programmes of NASENI enumerated above, both the prospects of economic growth and development, posterity and the future of the next generation of Nigerians depend in the seed which is sown now in a globally competitive world driven more and more by innovation, R&Ds and technology advancement amongst nations. The funding of NASENI today through a special arrangement, in this case, NASENI-Levy is a leadership commitment and it is one veritable way to say we love the future of our country and to accentuate the hope that Nigeria truly could catch up with the rest of the world very soon-a world driven by technology and advancements in innovation,” he said.
According to the report signed by the Deputy Director, Information of NASENI Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan the agency was established amongst other things, to create jobs for Nigerians, tackle unemployment, achieve industrialisation and also create wealth while deploying research and development activities which are the domains of the Agency in terms of innovation and value additions to the purpose of all commercial companies, productive and manufacturing sector, and firms for them to make more profit, generate employment and wealth creation and general social and economic development of the Nigeria State.
“NASENI’s Mandate, vision and mission as encapsulated in its establishment Act, ACT,2004 CAP N3 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria was set up to serve as Nigeria’s only purpose built Agency whose programmes and activities are geared towards the practical implementation of the National Science and Technology Policy of the country. The Agency was established to ensure that Nigeria’s research and development (R&Ds) system is managed effectively outside the civil service system.
It was set up not only to enhance the development and entrenchment of R&Ds tradition in Nigeria but also it is expected to establish and practice an open, consistent, equitable and corporate research management system for the country.
The organisational structure according to provisions of the Law puts the Agency under direct supervision of any serving President of The Federal Republic of Nigeria, who is the Chairman of the Governing Board of NASENI, a role currently being performed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“The Secretary General of the African Union (AU) and also ex-Prime Minister of Tanzania, Dr. Salim A. Salim, a diplomat once defined ‘development’ as a global undertaking with multiple dimensions-economic, social and cultural that influence one another. He said people do not commit themselves to development unless that undertaking corresponds to their deeply felt need. Dr. Salim, further in his affirmation thereby presented a challenge and task for all new and emerging African leaders to deploy their ingenuities going forward in establishing the synergistic development between science and technology and cultural values.”
The above affirmations, underscore the recent move by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration as demonstrated in the amendment to the Nigeria Finance Act 2021 especially aspects which concern implementation of payment of 0.25% turn-over of commercial companies and firms operating in Nigeria to fund research and development (R&Ds) activities of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI). The special fund is also known as NASENI Levy in the new Finance Act 2021.
Benefits of NASENI to Nigerians
The sustainable economic reforms and progress which occur often for any nation lie squarely in the discoveries of new trends called innovation, resulting from intensive research and development endeavors by the citizens of that country or the continuous implementation of economic development plans hinged on modern technological advancement. As new trends continue to evolve, the nation’s firms, companies and or entrepreneurs are expected to key into exploration of the benefits of such innovation from institutions like NASENI, in order to achieve economic growth and general development of the economy. These evolutions are expected to be supported by abundant evidence from many different fields of scientific investigations.
“is rather regrettable but also worthy of note to state that other areas such as crude oil and natural explorations are not sustainable except when combined with other trajectories of R&Ds/innovation leading to economic development frontiers both for national and international prosperity. With NASENI’s renewed pledge, vigor and current commitment to evolve new and prosperous Nigeria, present and more efforts in agricultural research machines and production currently is sure belt for sustainable development of Nigeria’s economy now going forward. NASENI has demonstrated undoubted capacities to domesticate foreign technologies through reverse engineering either by requisition or through own conception.
NASENI’s mandate & the development of Nigeria’s endogenous industrial economy confers on it the responsibility of establishing and nurturing appropriate and dynamic science and engineering infrastructure base for home initiated and home sustained (endogenous) industrialization of Nigeria through the development of relevant processes, capital goods and equipment necessary for job creation, national economic well-being and progress. NASENI was founded in 199 achieving 2 to kick start a truly home-grown industrial economy, creation of wealth and job opportunities based on Nigerians own entrepreneurship capacity and drive, developed deliberately to use own science, engineering and human ingenuities to develop the Nigeria economy while utilizing local materials. Because of its strategic roles in Nigeria’s industrial economic development, NASENI is the only purpose-built Agency established by the Federal Government to conduct Research and Development (R&Ds) work in the area of engineering and manufacturing equipment, as such, the Agency is capable of co-coordinating the proliferation of technologies developed either within or outside the country. Such technologies are in the areas of spare parts, components, process and system engineering which are to be transferred to industries for onward commercialization or mass production of goods and services.
Achievements of NASENI
Amidst paucity of funds, the Agency’s previous R&Ds efforts and scientific cum technological breakthroughs had led to the design and on-going manufacturing of Ist Made-in-Nigeria helicopter, Ist Made-in-Nigeria Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), useful for Agricultural purpose and also applicable for security surveillance. NASENI designed and produced 1st Made-in-Nigeria Tricycle called (KEKE NASENI-Cargo & Passenger types) and the 1st Made-in-Nigeria Motorcycle. The Agency through its R&Ds activities set up the 1st Solar Panel Manufacturing Plant in West Africa, located in Karshi, FCT Abuja and still operating at full capacity. The mobile primary science kits (PSK) and Junior Science Kits (JSK) were designed and manufactured for distribution to primary and secondary schools nationwide (an on-going exercise).
Also, in order to intervene in tackling the challenge of metering for the distribution of electricity in the power sector, the Agency succeeded in the design and manufacturing of 1st Made-in- Nigeria-Smart Prepaid Energy Metre (SPEM), the technology is now being transferred to a Nigeria commercial firm toward full commercialization and mass production. Other technological innovations by the Agency include the design and manufacturing of Propeller Turbine, Small Hydro Power (SHP) and installation of Small Hydro Kinetic turbines to generate electricity as part of interventions in power generation for the country. During the 2019-2020 peak period of COVID-19 pandemic, NASENI was the 1st Agency of the Federal Government to intervene in aspect of early prevention of spread of the virus through design and production of 3-D. masks and several ranges of disinfectant sprayers and manufacturing of ventilators in the country.
The Agency had designed and successfully manufactured a cloud computing electronic voting solution (NASENI e-voting) and currently working on locally produced jet engines and the production of passenger and military helicopters and many more.
The need for affordable, high quality technological equipment, products in Nigeria cannot be overstated and NASENI has the human and material capacity to achieve.