Tuesday, May 24, 2022

FG Tasks Entrepreneurs On Commercialisation Of NASENI’s R&D

NASENI Retreat
The executive vice chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Prof. Mohammed Haruna (seventh from left) and the permanent secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Mr. James Sule flanked by participants at the retreat in Niger State.

The Federal Government has tasked entrepreneurs in Nigeria to commercialise research and development outputs of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI).

Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, made this call while declaring open a three-day retreat for technical board members and managing directors of NASENI development institutes held in Niger State.

Mustapha urged entrepreneurs to take advantage of the various world-class research output of the agency, as the masses, entrepreneurs, industries, SMEs and the Federal Government expect the agency to lead Nigeria in industrialisation paths, even as the SGF assured management and staff of NASENI of President Muhammadu Buhari’s consistent support, as he always supported the agency in developing new technologies, machines and products to promote diversification of the nation’s economy.

He further reminded all present that, in the light of that stakeholders in Nigeria’s growth and development now have their eyes on NASENI to chart new ways forward in the current drive by the administration to industrialise the country 

The SGF added that the retreat aimed at repositioning NASENI to take the lead as the agency of government charged with the responsibility of providing capital goods, equipment, machines and process technologies needed for the industrial revolution of Nigeria. 

Only recently President Buhari approved the allocation of 1 per cent of federal revenue dedicated to funding research and development activities of NASENI, amongst other provisions. NASENI is the only purpose-built agency of the Federal Government by law to carry out research & development (R&Ds) work and activities, including reverse engineering in the areas of capital goods production, technologies, manufacturing of machines and equipment needed to run factories and industries in Nigeria, aimed at making the country self-reliant.

Mustapha, who doubled as the Federal Government’s representative and keynote speaker at the event charged NASENI to lead Nigeria in the popularisation of home-initiated and home-sustained industrial goods, machines, technologies, equipment and reverse engineering of key processes to achieve sustainable economic recovery of Nigeria.

“A home-initiated industrialisation is not only key to achieving a sustainable economic recovery for Nigeria but also the secret of the Asian Tigers, the magic of Europe and the culture of the Americans,” he said.

Mustapha, who was represented by the permanent secretary, Cabinet Affairs Office, Mr. James Sule, said the retreat themed “NASENI-The Vehicle for Nigeria’s Industrialisation” resonates with the Federal Government’s efforts to reposition Nigerians to benefit from the fourth industrial revolution and assure the global community that “our nation is moving steadily towards providing industrial leadership for the African continent”. 

The SGF asked that discussions by participants during the retreat must further strengthen President Buhari’s agenda and developmental goals – good governance, building a thriving and sustainable economy, enhancing social inclusion, reducing poverty, enlarging agricultural output for food security and export, attaining energy sufficiency in power and petroleum products as well as expanding access to quality education, affordable healthcare and productivity of Nigerians.

In his welcome address, the executive vice chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a full implementation of all statutory provisions of the establishment act of NASENI in line with global best practices, for the agency to compete favourably and deliver on its mandate of providing enabling environment for home-initiated and home-sustained industrialisation of Nigeria. He noted that the mandate of the agency was in the areas of capital goods research and development, adding that NASENI was established in the model and fashion of similar agencies in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brazil, Japan and Thailand. These agencies, he explained, were at the forefront of the provision of research and development works that led to their invention and innovation of new and emerging technologies, resulting in their economic prosperity and stability.

“These countries operate knowledge-based economies and their sources of foreign exchange include advanced technologies such as passenger and military aircraft, autonomous vehicles, conventional and renewable energy products, etc. NASENI is now being equipped to be at the forefront of leading Nigeria into the league of industrialised nations, hence the timely constitution and orientation for the technical board of directors,” he said.

A communique issued at the end of the three-day retreat said participants resolved that, going forward, NASENI will enhance its visibility and participation in the global market to chart a new path for the nation’s industrialisation reforms; prioritise its need-oriented products such as electric vehicles, microchips, solar cells, among other research and development (R&D) products; promote R&Ds through home-grown technologies to boost confidence in made-in-Nigeria products and discourage importation of similar goods, even as it is pertinent that it collaborates in innovation, production and technology transfer to SMEs through private-public partnership (PPP).

The retreat further resolved that all technical board members and managing directors of NASENI institutes must interact regularly, learn from one another and share knowledge to sustain the new direction for NASENI; that members of the technical board of directors (MTBDs) should continue to use their wealth of experience, technical know-how and exposure to guide the research and development (R&D) of the institutes, in line with the mandates of NASENI and mono mandate of the development institutes towards Nigeria’s transition to a manufacturing economy.

It added that NASENI creates baseline indices for development institutes to set targets and measure performance and enhance the synergy between NASENI, universities, polytechnics, research institutions and the industries; each institute should identify at least one need-oriented product for full development and commercialisation within a maximum time frame of 24 months for immediate production and commercialisation; NASENI is to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) for all its processes in line with good corporate governance and business codes of ethics, develop and automate a dispassionate risk assessment processes to enhance internal control mechanisms to prevent corruption and determine appropriate compensation mechanisms for all staff.

A statement signed by the agency’s deputy director, information, Mr. Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said the retreat had 45 technical board members and their chairmen in the 9 R&D institutes (industrial development complexes of NASENI through which the agency carries out its operations and mandate), the executive vice chairman of NASENI; 5 coordinating directors in the NASENI headquarters, project managers of 11 NASENI emerging development institutes and other management staff of the agency. 

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