From Judex Okoro, Calabar
Cross River State Governor Ben Ayade has concluded arrangements to partner with the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) on electricity generation from borehole.
To demonstrate his administration’s commitment, the governor announced a donation of one hundred million naira as research grant to the agency for the purpose.
The research into how to generate electricity from borehole is to be jointly undertaken by the agency and the state-owned University of Cross River State (UNICROSS).
Speaking during a courtesy call on him in Calabar at the weekend by a team of NASENI officials led by its Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Muhammed Sani Harunan, Governor Ayade said the time has come for the agency to develop a wholistic framework to launch Nigeria into the global engineering map.
According to him, ‘NASENI is an agency that is responsible for the science and engineering infrastructure. We must begin to truly develop engineering infrastructure in this country. It is a shame that as a country we still import spare parts and take a man from a temperate climate who does not have sun, who is always in the cold to come and tell us how to use our sunlight.
‘What a shame that you have crude oil under your earth, yet it takes somebody, who comes from a country that does not have oil, to tell you how to dig it out. More shameful that you do not even know how to use it. You have to send it out.’
According to the governor, ‘the state is ready to collaborate with you and I am making available, once you establish your agency here in Cross River, one brand new pickup, and an immediate office for you to move to and make available a land for you to build a permanent office.
‘We are providing, in collaboration with University of Cross River, the sum of N100 million for the development and generation of electricity from borehole generate electricity for CalasVegas,’ adding that ‘this is going to be our (Cross River State) patent because the research is being financed by us in collaboration with NASENI.’
Explaining that he would be an Ambassador for NASENI henceforth especially amongst his governors’colleagues, Governor Ayade said: ‘I am with NASENI on the realization of one percent allocation of the federal revenue to the Agency in order for it to perform optimally.’
Earlier in his address, Professor Haruna said NASENI will collaborate with the Cross River government in its industrialisation drive,
‘Your Excellency be our ambassador, convince your colleagues that what we are doing in NASENI is very important to them.
‘We commend you for the massive agricultural and infrastructural investment in Cross River State. You are turning things around. We offer to collaborate with you because it is within our mandate to collaborate with states.
‘Most importantly, we are willing to work with the private sector in the state to establish manufacturing concerns that are technology oriented and will generate local employment,’ the NASENI head said.