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Like China and Japan: NASENI is Pathway to Nigeria’s Industrial Economy

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By Mr. Olusegun S. Ayeoyenikan

Nigeria cannot have real development without a sustainable industrial growth and manufacturing capacity which is the solution to poverty, unemployment and insecurity.

No doubt having an industrial goods production base and or a competitive industrial economy is the only remedy to Nigeria’s dependence on importation of goods, technologies and services from other nations.

 

What is an industrial economy? Simply put, it is the prevalent use of machines, equipment or technologies in industry and all business concerns which combine other factors of innovation, production, facilities, supplies, work and knowledge to produce material goods or services intended for the market.

The complex and functional nature of infrastructures and investments in science, technology and innovation system put in place by a nation to drive own’s industrial production and manufacturing techniques determine the relative presence or lack of apparent competitiveness in the production of processed and manufactured goods that are being connected between industrial activity and the activity in the primary sector, local or international trade and service activity.

When a nation significantly lacks the above-mentioned factors for economic efficiency, it faces industrial underdevelopment with all the associated deplorable social and economic conditions.

Countries like Japan and China who initially were not among European nations which experienced the first and second industrial revolutions in the 17th, 18th to 19th centuries respectively had rapidly advanced to join the league of industrialized nations of the West because those nations overtime deliberately invested in research and development (R&D), innovation, science and technology.

“Similarly, the newcomers to the global industrial arena, known as the Asian Tigers—Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, and others—discovered the secret of substantial investments in science and innovation much earlier than many African nations, including Nigeria”

Science and technology, engineering research and innovation are the essential bedrocks for any meaningful industrialization endeavour to take place.  The implication for Nigeria is that if engineering, science, technology and Innovation are not given due priority in our nation’s economic recovery and growth plans, any success expected to be achieved will soon be short-lived or unsustainable. Countries like Japan, U.S.A, China, Germany, Indonesia others had overtime gained their reputation as “Economic Giants” due to the priority which the leaders gave previously to R&D investments, earmarking 5-6 per cent of their gross domestic products (GDP) for the development of science, technology and innovation (STI). Investment in STI is a core factor of development and therein lies the secret of advanced nations’ leadership, pursuit and commitment.

The founding fathers of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure(Presidency) in 1992 established the agency with the aim of establishing and nurturing an appropriate and dynamic Science and Engineering Infrastructure base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization process through the development of relevant processes, appropriate local machine design and machine building capabilities for capital goods and equipment manufacture to guarantee job creation, national economic well-being and progress.

Previous R&D efforts and other activities within NASENI’s mandate areas had translated into various technology interventions leading to attainment of capacities and capabilities in local mass production of capital goods, tools and equipment in critical sectors of the economy like agriculture, power, water resources, automotive industry, ICT, health, aviation, education, transportation, scientific equipment and manufacturing, chemical and other engineering materials. The list is boundless.

NASENI was strategically established to produce relevant technologies, set up industrial plants and stimulate knowledge-based entrepreneurship for the socio-economic advancement of the country.  Its major challenge in the past were lack of patronage of its products and technologies by local entrepreneurs or businesses, exacerbated by low commercialization attempts of its R&D results, leaving most of them wasting away on the shelves.

However, with the coming on board of a new chief executive, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, a techpreneur and businessman, there has been a dramatic change of focus toward full commercialization of NASENI’s resources, making them available in the market to end users of its R&D products, machines and other equipment to boost the economy. NASENI today stands as a beacon of indigenous technological advancement, aligning with its core mission of fostering dynamic Science and Engineering Infrastructure for national progress.

The agency under the leadership of Halilu has articulated a bold vision to fuel Nigeria’s innovation for a sustainable future through the 3Cs principle of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization which have indeed opened more doors to result-based partnerships with national and international communities.

According to Halilu, “our new model at NASENI is to do everything to conserve resources, avoid duplication of efforts, and shorten go-to-market time. What this means is that wherever we find serious partners who are already operating in our areas of interest, we will work with them to improve our products and take these products to the market. As a government agency, we are not out to compete with the private sector. Instead, we are here as partners and enablers, helping with everything from design to testing, or helping companies in scaling-up production capacity and to seek out new markets.”

The agency recently unveiled to the general public some branded technological products manufactured in collaboration with its partners. They included solar irrigation systems, electric vehicles (ranging from tricycles to motorcycles), NASENI home solar system, animal feed milling machines, laptop, smartphone, solar streetlamp and lithium battery. All these efforts were geared towards creating jobs and to reduce import bills.

NASENI is not only promoting the development of digital technologies such as mobile financial transaction platforms to bring more people into the formal economy, the agency is also carrying out additive manufacturing, using 3D printing and other advanced manufacturing technologies to produce goods locally. NASENI has   developed an electronic voting solution to help reduce electoral malpractices during elections. The organization is also working on other projects such as smart prepaid meter and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to promote economic development in Nigeria.

In addition, there will be concerted efforts to increase the inputs of locally-sourced materials in all product components. NASENI will also work to ensure full transfers of all required Intellectual Property (IP) and technology elements including licensing for domestication and adaptations.

Halilu has pledged to keep the public updated about the progress in the industrial transformational journey of Nigeria, which is a direct manifestation of the Agency’s triple principle of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization.  “As the only purpose-built agency of the Federal Government in Nigeria with a technology transfer mandate, NASENI will always focus on progressively scaling-up local-content sourcing, and strengthening domestic technical and production capacities,” says Halilu.

Going forward, the agency will continue to play crucial roles in Nigeria’s economic transformation not only now, but also serve as leader in the promotion of science and technology, developing indigenous solutions to foster economic growth, provide capital goods and services based on sound engineering practices, support infrastructure development that are essential for manufacturing and economic growth, including driving technological advancement through R&D amongst other initiatives.

Let all hands be on deck at this critical time in the life of our nation as the agency and its team of stakeholders, partners and collaborators continue to assist in pulling Nigeria out of her socio-economic difficulties through STI. According to recent statistics by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Nigeria’s investment in science and technology has led to significant growth in sectors like telecommunications, IT, and e-commerce, contributing around 10-15 per cent to gross domestic product (GDP). However, compared to other developed nations whose economic growth is dependent on STI, Nigeria is still lagging behind. China’s investment in STI contributes around 30-40% to its GDP; UK’s investment contributes around 20-25%; USA’s investment contributes 30-40% to its GDP while Indonesia’s STI contributes around 10-15 percent.

The lasting solution to our country’s economic dilemma now is for us to turn determinedly toward a continuous investment in science, technology and innovations as we journey toward industrialization, and regarding this particular endeavour for Nigeria, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) is on the driver’s seat.

Mr. Olusegun S. Ayeoyenikan is the Director Information, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Headquarters, Abuja

 

 


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Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University. Dear Reader, Your support matters. But we believe that technology makes life more exciting and helps improve the lives of people around Nigeria and indeed the world. That is why, we have devoted our energy to independent reportage of technology and finance and how they affect lives. Our incisive and analytical view of how technology news affects the daily life help individuals and organizations make up their minds. Quality journalism costs money. Today, we're asking that you support us to do more. Kindly support our effort to deliver technology and finance journalism to everyone in the world. Donate as little as N1,000. Bank transfers can be made to: UBA Plc 1017156876 Communication Week Media Ltd

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Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

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At least N87 million bribes were paid to Nigerian public and private officials in 2023, according to data from National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigerians Pay Some N87m in Bribes to Public, Private Officials In 2023

NBS data also indicated that of all Nigerian citizens who had at least one contact with a public official in the 12 months prior to the 2023 survey, 27 per cent paid a bribe to a public official.

According to the Bureau, Nigerians’ confidence in the government’s anti-corruption effort has been declining over time and across regions.

“While in 2019, more than half of all citizens thought that the government was effective in fighting corruption, in 2023, the share declined to less than a third of all citizens.

“The downward trend in the citizens’ confidence is observable across the entire country, with all six zones recording reductions of more than 10 percentage points between 2019 and 2023 in terms of the share of citizens who thought the government was effective in fighting corruption,” it stated.


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12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

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The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) Joint Venture has significantly expanded its educational initiatives by inducting 27 Nigerian academics and research interns.

12 Professors, 15 Others Inducted into Shell Sabbatical, Research Positions

A cross section of participants in the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Joint Venture’s 2024 sabbatical and research programme in a group photograph with the leadership of SPDC’s Corporate Relations team at the induction ceremony held in Port Harcourt…recently.

This year’s programme, a 35% increase from the previous year, welcomed eight professors, four senior lecturers, and 15 other participants.

Held at the company’s headquarters in Port Harcourt, the induction ceremony marked the beginning of a one-year programme focused on knowledge exchange and skill development.

Drawn from 13 Nigerian universities, these participants will gain valuable industry experience in fields like biodiversity, petroleum engineering, and environmental impact assessment.

“The research and internship programmes are central to our commitment to supporting higher education in Nigeria,” explained Mr. Igo Weli, Shell Nigeria’s Head of Corporate Relations, and SPDC Director.

He described the programme as mutually beneficial nature by offering Shell access to specialised expertise from professors and lecturers, who in turn acquire practical industry knowledge and exposure to cutting-edge technologies.

Despite operational challenges, Mr. Weli reaffirmed Shell’s position as the industry leader in fostering a positive learning environment and empowering people.

Representing Mrs. Bunmi Edith Lawson, NNPC Upstream Investment Management Services, echoed Mr. Weli’s sentiments. She highlighted the programme’s significance in scientific exploration, environmental stewardship, and knowledge advancement.

“This is an investment in the next generation of innovators,” she stated, “and a way for us to give back to our stakeholders.”

The 2024 programme includes participants from a diverse range of universities across Nigeria, including the University of Benin, Rivers State University, University of Ibadan, Niger Delta University, and Ahmadu Bello University.

Others are Bingham University Karu, Federal University Wukari, University of Medical Sciences, Ondo State, Covenant University, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ajayi Crowther University, Oyo, University of Uyo, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, and Michael Okpara University of Agriculture.

 

 


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Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

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Saleh Mamman, former minister of Power, who was charged for a N33 billion fraud by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has been granted bail.

Ex Power Minister who Allegedly Stole N33Bn Gets N10Bn Bail

During a sitting on Friday, at the Federal High Court in Abuja, Mamman was granted N10 billion billion with two sureties in like sum.

Issuing the verdict, James Omotosho, chief judge, held that the sureties must be owners of landed properties within the Federal Capital Territory with a minimum valuation of N750 million.

The judge stated that the sureties must swear an affidavit of means and submit their three-year tax clearance certificates, adding that certified copies of the defendant and sureties’ bank statements and their most recent passport photograph must also be submitted.

In addition, the judge directed the defendant to turn in his international passport to the court’s registrar, stating that the registrar must confirm every document before the defendant is allowed to leave custody.

The court further ordered that the defendant be held in jail until all bail requirements were fulfilled and that the sureties could provide a bank guarantee or bond of N10 billion. The case has been adjourned until September 25, 2024.

On Thursday, July 11, the judge ordered the remand of the former minister at the Kuje Prison after his not-guilty plea to all the 12-count charges preferred against him. His lawyer, Femi Ate, a senior advocate, however, told the court that a bail application had been filed on behalf of his client.

Although the judge stated the bail application had not yet made it into the court file, the lawyer representing the EFCC, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, also a senior advocate, admitted that the application had been received.

Meanwhile, the defendant had collapsed outside the courtroom before the hearing on Thursday but was revived with the help of his lawyers and some medical personnel at the court.

 


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