President Muhammadu’s deliberate attempts to diversify the Nigeria economy through technologies and innovations’ strategy received a boost yesterday in Abuja when the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha inaugurated a 45-man panel to monitor the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI)’s technologies and inventions.
The 45-man panel will work as technical board of directors across the nine research and development institutes of the agency.
The panel of eminent engineers and professionals were tasked by President Muhammadu Buhari to evaluate all technologies and innovations coming out from NASENI’s research institutes, to make them conform to best global standards and be ready for commercialisation, as well as industrialisation of the Nigerian economy.
The president, through the SGF, said the need to diversify the economy was a deliberate action by his administration; hence the current massive investments in science, technology, innovation and products that could boost productivity in the nation’s economy just as is obtainable in other countries.
Such efforts, he said, led those countries to become first class global economies, recording great growth and development.
It would be recalled that President Buhari, having realised that NASENI has all it takes to diversify the economy through its technologies and innovations, recently reviewed the agency’s statutory funds and mandated that they be released to the agency to enable it achieve its mandate of providing capital goods, research and development activities to transform the economy using science, technology and innovations.
Speaking at the inauguration of the panels yesterday in Abuja, Mustapha said the panel would kick-start the effective and efficient implementations of NASENI projects with a range of tasks which include enabling the Federal Government to monitor the deliverables from the agency to help it meet the developmental and socio-economic needs of the country.
“Mr. President has approved the composition of these technical panels for deployment and application of appropriate science and engineering technologies because this sector is the obvious solution to the myriads of Nigeria’s socio-economic problems,” he said.
While commending the technical board of directors for the institutes, Mustapha, represented by Dr. Morris Nnamdi, said that their appointments were based on merit and pedigrees as seasoned researchers and practicing engineers and scientists.
Mustapha admonished the board members to bring their years of dedication and valuable contributions to the nation’s institutions to bear on their tasks as they steer the institutes’ technological prowess in the right direction.
“It must be stressed that this board is not an administrative one but a technical one and, as its name implies, its functions are clearly spelt out vis; supervision of the technical operations of the institutes within their specific mandates. From the composition of the board, I have every confidence that you will all participate in leading the way to new grounds for this nation, in a very professional manner,” he stated.
In his welcome address, the executive vice chairman, NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna, said the setting up of the boards, recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari, was not only in line with the Establishment Act of the agency, but also the implementation of the recommendation of the inter-ministerial Ad-hoc Committee of the NASENI Governing Board.
While appreciating President Buhari for repositioning the agency in line with the dreams and aspirations of its founding fathers, Prof. Haruna noted that since its establishment 30 years ago, NASENI has demonstrated sufficient political will by approving full implementation of its mandate (strategic policy objectives, institutional structures, funding and financial implementation).
A statement by the NASENI deputy director of information, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, said with the inauguration of these technical boards will see Buhari double as both the chairman of the NASENI Governing Board and fulfill his promises of repositioning the agency to deliver globally competitive products and services.
“This is in line with the administrative, economic diversification programme and commitment to transit the country from a consumer to a manufacturing economy,” it added.