By Emmanuel Elebeke
ABUJA—The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has built a N354million Technology Orientation Centre, TOC, which will serve as a research and development (R&D) hub to boost locally made science and engineering products in the country.
Commissioning TOC Tuesday at the NASENI headquarters in Idu, Abuja, the minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said the centre would enable Nigerians to become the true masters of their own destinies.
The minister stated that President Muhammad Buhari-led administration has resolved to give total support to the development of indigenous technologies, adding that science and technology remains the key to true national and economic growth.
He said: “I believe that if we pay greater attention to innovation and vigorously pursue the conversion of research findings into viable goods and services, we can recreate the middle class, strengthen the Naira and secure a better future for ourselves and generation yet unborn,” he said.
Onu further explained that the NASENI Technology Orientation Centre would help entrepreneurs, researchers and innovators gain greater access to the necessary processes that would fast- track the commercialisation of inventions using indigenous technologies.
He also said it would also help create jobs, create wealth, reduce poverty and stimulate economic growth.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof Mohammed Sani Haruna said the new hub would only promote indigenous technologies but would also take on new and emerging technologies and determine their relevance to the Nigeria’s economy.
‘’The Agency will put in place a program for periodic assembly of Nigerians both at home and the Diaspora interested in the subject, not to only determine the desirability and applicability of new emerging technologies but develop prototype products and services meeting the needs and yearnings of the nation for self-reliance,” he said.