President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), to collaborate with Dynali Company, a Belgian Helicopter Manufacturing Company, for the local production of helicopters.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this directive was given by the President at the maiden edition of the meeting of the Governing Board of NASENI at the State House, Abuja, on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.
While presiding over the meeting, President Buhari, who is also the Chairman of NASENI, directed the agency to work towards bridging the gaps in research and technology that keeps Nigeria waiting on other countries for supplies and solutions, especially in tackling challenges like the Covid-19 pandemic.
What President Buhari is saying
Buhari said the agency should play a more pivotal role in equipping the country during emergencies, while encouraging research, upgrading local skills, fabrication and international collaborations that would provoke growth in science and technology.
The President said, “The uniqueness of the mandate of NASENI as enshrined in its enabling law towards the actualisation and realisation of our development programmes such as the creation of Ten Million jobs; Economic Recovery and Growth Programme (ERGP) and Post COVID-19 sustainability Plan.
“It is only deliberate deployment of Engineering, Science, Technology and Innovation (ESTI) using technology domestication and reverse engineering of capital goods.
“Making them available in Nigeria that can fast-track the realisation of our collective will to build capacity and reduce poverty among our teeming populace. The countries that are at the forefront of economic recovery have only one thing in common: investment and sustained research and development work in knowledge economy.
“Covid-19 pandemic has exposed the Technology and innovation gap between us and the developed World, which NASENI is strategically positioned to fill.’’
Going further, the President said in order to achieve its full potential, NASENI must be empowered through the provision of adequate financial, human and material resources and be given the autonomy and independence to engage in international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic and industrial advancement of the country.
He said, ‘’In this regard, I have directed the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning and Federal Inland Revenue Service to commence remittance of funds approved by Law of the Agency.’’
‘’It is important to for members of the NASENI Governing Board to note that Agencies of Governments with a similar mandate as NASENI in many countries are directly under the supervision of their respective Heads of State and Government.’’
While making his own remark, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, revealed that the agency had constructed electronic voting systems and was already working on locally produced jet engines and assemblage of passenger and military helicopters.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Buhari had earlier approved the reconstitution and inauguration of the Governing Board of NASENI on March 8, 2018, with a clear mandate to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which would be critical to Nigeria’s industrial development.
- NASENI was established in 1992 by the Federal Government following the recommendations of the White Paper Committee on the 1991 Report of a 150-member National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure comprising scientists, engineers, administrators, federal and state civil servants, economists, lawyers, bankers and industrialists.