…Institute will spark agricultural revolution In Nigeria – Gambari
The executive vice chairman (EVC), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna, has said the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) Lafia, targets the provision of over 10 million jobs for unemployed Nigerian youths through economic diversification, especially exploring the gains of agriculture in nation-building.
Haruna made this assertion during the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction of the institute in Lafia, the state capital, yesterday (August 1, 2022).
Haruna, who posited the institute was one of the many promises kept by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration, said it will employ the teeming unemployed youths and other Nigerians in the region as well as other Nigerians.
Recall that President Buhari recently approved the establishment of six agricultural machinery and equipment development institutes, as well as six industrial machinery and equipment development institutes – one of each per geo-political zone.
This is to reduce importation and Nigeria’s continued reliance on foreign technologies for agricultural implements and also to conserve foreign exchange by making Nigeria a hub and supplier of agro-allied technologies, equipment and machinery for the development of the agriculture sector.
Earlier, the chief of staff to the president, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari said AMEDI will, in no time, emerge as a centre of excellence in agricultural machinery and equipment design to enable Nigeria to scale new heights and become the paradise for agricultural produce and a hub for agro-allied technologies.
According to him, AMEDI Lafia, just like the other five AMEDIs, is expected to host a demonstration farm which would serve as a pilot for the showcase of new farming methods using modern techniques in agricultural processing, innovation and technologies and a means of providing extension services for Nigerian farmers and agro-allied industries in the country.
“Today we are here to kick off another flagship project with the establishment of AMEDI Lafia, building on the remarkable success of the other NASENI development institutes across the country. We are confident that AMEDI Lafia will serve as the cradle for nurturing professional engineers and scientists who are proficient in the design and manufacturing of diverse agricultural machinery and equipment. I am sure that AMEDI will, in no time, emerge as a centre of excellence in agricultural machinery and equipment design to enable Nigeria to scale new heights as the paradise for agricultural produce and a hub for agro-allied technologies,” he stated.
Represented by the special assistant to the president on foreign and international affairs, Amb. Abdullahi Omaki, Gambari listed the mandate of AMEDI Lafia to include the development of agricultural machinery, equipment and related technologies and to cede developed products and technologies to the private sector for mass production and commercialization, having the primary focus on the north-central zone of Nigeria.
He added that the new Institute is expected by its mandate to look into solving the agricultural and agro-allied technology challenges of Nasarawa, Benue, Kogi, Kwara, Niger and Plateau states, including the Federal Capital Territory.
While commending President Buhari for approving the establishment of AMEDIs in the six geopolitical zones of the country, Gambari saluted the courage and commitment of the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule for taking the bull by the horns to request Mr. President for the far-reaching institute to be sited in Nasarawa State even as he appreciated the visionary leadership of the executive vice chairman of NASENI for his role in ensuring that the project saw the light of the day.
He, however, noted that a lot was expected of NASENI and AMEDI Lafia – when they become fully operational – at full operation by local farmers, entrepreneurs and agro-allied industries.
“The Presidency will constantly provide the needed support for AMEDI and NASENI in developing new products to promote a diversified economy for our beloved nation. Home-initiated and home-sustained industrialisation is key to achieving a sustainable economic recovery for Nigeria because technology is the secret of Asia, the magic of Europe and the culture of the Americas” he stressed.
Earlier, the Nasarawa State governor, Engr. Abdullahi Sule said AMEDI was geared towards transforming the agricultural sector into an industrial hub through job creation, youth empowerment and skills acquisition.
“It is pertinent to state that the intervention of the Federal Government in the conception and sitting of this project is predicated on the belief that 80 per cent of the world economy is advanced manufacturing technology-driven,” he said.
He added that the institute would be critical in the transformation of the state into a business hub and will deepen the availability of skilled manpower to match the influx of companies and organisations that have indicated interest to do business in the state.