From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday, unfolded his dream to develop local capacity in machine building for industrial development.
He pledged to leave industrial capacity legacy for the next administration in 2023.
He said the nation would henceforth look inwards for the maintenance and sustainability of its key national infrastructures.
He made the commitment during the commissioning of Muhammadu Buhari Technology and Innovation Complex at the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) in Idu, Abuja.
The president listed some of the equipment to include Armoured Personnel Carrier (APC) with advanced features and Mine Resistant Ambushed Protected (MRAP).
“This is one pivotal legacy of this administration. With this complex and the available facility, the future of our national competitiveness among global economies is promising. We are sure that these advanced science and engineering core facilities will assist our nation in the attainment of Africa Union’s 2063 Agenda and United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, 2030,” he said.
Decrying NASENI’s inability to attain her full potentials over the years, he assured of his administration’s determination to reverse the trend.
“NASENI is undergoing a reinvention and transformation to become a technology and innovation hub for our national development. Consequently, we have strategically repositioned NASENI to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which is critical to Nigeria’s Industrial development.”
Impressed with its great strides under this administration, President Buhari declared: “The agency is now empowered through the provision of adequate financial, human and material resources and the autonomy and independence to forge international partnerships to acquire the relevant technologies for socio-economic and industrial advancement of the country.
“The agency is now domesticating foreign technologies and product development through backward integration. The recent attraction of 250 million Czeck Koruna or US$10.5 million Research and Development grant to Nigeria by NASENI is evident that our transformation is achieving result of building a globally competitive agency.”
Buhari said the nation will henceforth look inwards for the maintenance and sustainability of its key national infrastructures.
“The present administration has invested heavily in diverse infrastructural facilities in the roads, rails, water, and aviation among other sectors of our national economy.
“Beyond my administration, the maintenance, resourcing, and sustainability of these critical infrastructures would have been a challenge on the medium to long term basis.
“However, with our deliberate repositioning of NASENI to be at par with other similar agencies of government across the world and optimal performance, we are convinced that the future maintenance and sustainability of our key national infrastructures are ascertained.
“New NASENI is undoubtedly among the most important legacy my administration is bequeathing to the next Government in 2023.”
Prof. Haruna said the agency would soon provide innovative technology solution to crude oil theft and bunkering among others.
“Furthermore, NASENI is ready and will God willing soon provide innovative technology solution to stopping crude oil theft and bunkering; vandalization of power line and pipelines as well as surveillance and monitoring devices for our rails, roads and seaways.”
On security challenges facing the nation, he said some of the equipment required by the military will now be locally innovated.
“We commend your Excellency’s administration for supporting the military to defeat non-state actors through constant procurement of military hardware in attending to our multifaceted unconventional security challenges.
“NASENI has observed that the military is the highest user and importer of highly technical equipment in the country. Accordingly, the agency discerned the need to collaborate with military to study various aspects of their technical needs in order to combine the capabilities of both organizations for national sustainability.
“Of course, new weapons and state-of-art capabilities must be locally innovated and developed with the intent to counter and disrupt perceived enemy capabilities as well as shield the Nation from unforeseen sanctions and capital flight.”