NASENI Is Critical To Economic Transformation Agenda” says President Jonathan
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..…As He Chairs the Agency’s Maiden Governing Board Meeting
Worried that Nigeria, a nation which strives currently with concerted efforts to industrialize its economy but depends on importation of industrial tools such as bolts and nuts, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has said that his administration will support the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) being a critical intervention Agency to the Federal Government’s socio-economic transformation Agenda.
Mr. President who expressed this optimism having previewed a video presentation of research and development, innovation products like solar panels, small hydro turbines and integrated cassava flour processing plant among others that were manufactured by NASENI said his hope of an Industrialized Nigeria has been further strengthened by NASENI’s activities.
The President, who is the Chairman of NASENI Governing Board, made these remarks at the maiden Board meeting of the Agency in Aso Rock Presidential Villa Abuja recently, saying he wanted NASENI to play key roles in the economic transformation drive of his administration, even as he charged Board members and relevant stakeholders to contribute vigorously to empower the Agency to do more.
‘’ I am worried that a nation that is striving to industrialize would continue to import basic components such as bolts and nuts that are needed in our Industries. Having watched the presentation of research and development, innovation products like solar panels, small hydro turbines and integrated cassava flour processing plant among others that were manufactured by NASENI, my hope of an Industrialized Nigeria was further strengthened”, said the President.
President Jonathan, however, urged the Board members and all Nigerians to accord NASENI with the needed support because “Agencies like NASENI are the vehicles to convey the country in its present journey or desire to industrialize.”
The last time a serving President chaired the Board of the Agency, although stipulated by law, was in 1993, by the then Military President, General Ibrahim Babangida under whose administration the Agency was established. The current re-constituted Governing Board of the Agency was inaugurated in 2013 by the Vice President, Arc. Namadi  Sambo, GCON, who stood in for the President. The recent meeting of the Board was the first since its inauguration last year.
The Executive Vice Chairman/CEO of NASENI, Engr. Dr. Mohammed Sani Haruna affirmed that NASENI is Nigeria’s only purpose-built Agency established to conduct Research and Development (R&D) work in the area of engineering and manufacturing equipment and as such, capable of co-coordinating the proliferation of technologies developed either within or outside the country. Such technologies are in the area of spare parts, components, process and system engineering that are to be transferred to Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) for onward commercialization or production of goods and services.
NASENI among other responsibilities has the mandate to develop relevant process and design of capital goods and equipment necessary for job creation, national economic well-being and progress including creating enabling knowledge-driven environment for achieving home-initiated, home-sustained industrialization and local mass-production of standard parts, goods and services required for Nigeria’s technology advancement.
NASENI is therefore not just another Research and Development (R&D) Agency but it is also an Agency that research and manufacture capital goods that are ready for commercialization as a proof of concept. It is remarkably a special Agency of government modelled in the fashion of Agencies such as Standards and Industrial Research Institute (SIRIM) of Malaysia, National Science and Technology Development Agency (NSTDA) of Thailand and Badan Pengkajian dan Penerapan Technology (BPPT) of Indonesia, all in Asia, to fast-track Industrialization of their respective economies. The heads of those institutions report directly to the President of their countries. Operating more like a task force, the structure of the Agencies were created deliberately to by-pass the bureaucratic trajectory of the civil service system so as to promote quick and speedy decision making processes, reaching the highest approving authority - the President, with the same speed.
 President Goodluck Jonathan’s passion to make NASENI succeed became more apparent recently when he directed more cabinet Ministers to join subsequent NASENI Board meetings because of their respective sectoral relevance. On the list were the Ministers of Industry, Trade and Investment; Finance/CME and Power.
In the same vein, the Board at its last sitting has established an Ad-Hoc Committee to review the NASENI structure and explore its funding mechanism as well as reconstituted the three Standing Committees of the Governing Board, an indication that the Board has commenced work in earnest.