The Federal Government has inaugurated a committee to assess submissions by Nigerian companies for the implementation of the Delta-2 Project under an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Czech Republic.
Nigeria is represented by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) while the Czech Republic is represented by its technology agency, TACR.
Speaking during the committee inauguration yesterday in Abuja, the chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee of Transfer of Technology between Nigeria and the Czech Republic (PICTT), Dr. Mohammed Dahiru said over 200 Nigerian companies applied to take part in the Delta-2 project, following the public call for proposal on May 18, 2022.
He disclosed that the purpose of hosting the Federal Government’s ongoing technology transfer agreement with the Czech Republic is to diversify the economy of Nigeria from oil.
Dahiru noted that the committee’s terms of reference would be the instrument of implementation of the MoU between both countries which recognises the pivotal and critical roles of the PIC and NASENI.
While inaugurating the committee, the executive vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, who is also co-chair of the presidential committee, recalled that on November 30, 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Czech Republic (PICTT), noting that the three focal areas for the first phase of implementation by PICTT were agricultural equipment, machinery, production and processing, mining equipment, machinery, production and processing and general manufacturing with emphasis on micro, small, and medium enterprises.
Haruna said that the Delta-2 Programme is the cooperation model of the TACR, running from 2020 to 2025 through which TACR sponsors applied research and innovation of manufacturing companies and innovative institutions. “CZK 250 million (250 million Czech Koruna, approximately equal to US$ 10.5 million) has been allocated as research fund by the Czech government on behalf of the FGN, NASENI will supplement this with US$ 10 million.”
According to him, 284 Public Proposals for Delta-2 Programme have been submitted for screening, noting that the thematic areas for proposals are Agriculture with a total proposal of 78 (27.5 per cent), mining and SMEs, mining 12 (4.2 per cent) and SMEs 194 (86.3 per cent). It could be recalled that the launch of a call for public proposals, which is simultaneously being hosted by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TACR) and, at least, eight (8) other participating countries was launched on May 18, 2022. It was the first part of the project procedure/schedule on “TA CR Delta 2 Programme for Bilateral Cooperation in Applied Research and Technology Transfer for Agriculture, Mining and General Manufacturing”.
Haruna, therefore, urged the committee members to ensure that the important projects leading to made-in-Nigeria technologies and products are selected from the companies to transform Nigeria and to jump the industrial revolution in the country.
According to Dahiru, the inauguration of the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on technology transfer/information exchange between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Czech Republic, in December 2020 was in response to the need for the implementation of an existing memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Federal Republic of Nigeria (represented by the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI) and the Czech Republic (represented by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic, TA CR). According to the PIC’s terms of reference (ToR), the committee is expected to work collaboratively with relevant stakeholders and partners, to ignite a process of fostering growth and expansion of infrastructure, manufacturing and innovation in Nigeria.
A statement by the agency’s deputy director, information, Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said the PICTT Work Plan 2021 – 2024, focuses on fostering infrastructural development in agriculture, mining and general manufacturing (specifically for micro, small and medium enterprises, MSMEs). In line with the focus, the following projects have been finalised and are at different stages of implementation including the TA CR Delta 2 programme for bilateral cooperation in applied research and technology transfer for agriculture, mining and general manufacturing, smart irrigation project/establishment of irrigation equipment manufacturing plant and valves and fittings manufacturing company collaboration with aqua industrial set-ups, establishment of an eco-panel manufacturing plant in collaboration with Ekopanely Czech Republic, defence technology transfer projects for the Nigeria Navy through the Czech Ministry of Defence.
The chairmen of the various assessment committees are Prof. Michael Faborode (agriculture), Prof. Mosto Onuoha (mining), Mr. Dike Aguonye (technologies for SMEs’ development) and Prof. Suleiman Aruwa heads the advisory committee.