…To be operational from Q1 2022 – NASENI boss
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) today in Abuja signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Plateau State government for the establishment of the Food Processing Equipment and Machinery Development Institute (FOPEMDI) to be located in Jos, the state capital.
Signing the document, the executive vice-chairman of the agency, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said the establishment of the institute is part of President Muhammadu Buhari’s efforts to diversify the economy through the use of innovation and engineering resources in the country. Also, he said the institute will be up and running in the first quarter of 2022.
A statement from the agency’s deputy director, information, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said the new institute was one of 12 other equipment development institutes to be established nationwide, two per geo-political zone of the country recently approved by Buhari.
With the agreement by both parties, NASENI will set up indigenous equipment and machines facilities for processing of food in Plateau and, at the same time, create employment opportunities for thousands.
The MoU will ensure that both parties collaborate towards the emergence of entrepreneurs, sourcing of start-up capital for commercialisation of new innovative products, sourcing of potential investors for commercialisation of products and provision of business development activities in the food processing sub-sector.
Signing on behalf of NASENI, Haruna said besides the take-off of the FOPEMDI in the first quarter of 2022, the MoU would explore other related areas for collaboration between NASENI and the state government.
“The MoU will focus on the transfer of technology and brokerage, technology acquisition, entrepreneurial training, technical and managerial backups from NASENI to make the Institute succeed,” he said.
The NASENI boss said Plateau had shown tremendous interest and laid the right foundation for the transfer of NASENI technologies and engineering resources to the state to be used indirectly in developing the nation’s economy.
The state’s commissioner for Science and Technology, Hon. Gyang Musa, who represented the state governor, Dr. Simon Lalong and signed the MoU on behalf of the state government, said the people of the state were patiently waiting for the take-off of the institute, corroborating the EVC of NASENI claim that “with the signing of the agreement, thousands of Plateau State youths will be trained and empowered soon”.
According to Musa, Lalong was excited about the upcoming institute and had devised all necessary measures to ensure that the institute was established while pledging to keep supporting NASENI’s innovations. Also, he disclosed that the governor had approved for the construction of the institute on the same site previously visited by the agency’s delegation before now.
He thanked Buhari for hearing the plea of the people of the state and approving the setting-up of the institute in Jos.
According to the MoU, other areas of collaboration between the government and the state would include value chain for food processing technologies, appropriate technologies for industrial clusters, farming equipment development to support agro-allied SMEs and industries, renewable energy including solar photovoltaic (PV) panels’ production and skill acquisition including foundry technology amongst others.