By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday gave a marching to the Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, to handover all the tractors which the agency was refurbishing and housed at its institute in Minna, Niger State.
The directive was to ensure food sufficiency and to revamp the agricultural sector.
Receiving briefing from the agency at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, President Buhari said one of the most crucial modern implements required to till the ground to aid farmers to realise bountiful harvests was farming aid like tractors.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna at the meeting told the President that several of such tractors were currently being refurbished through the Partnership arrangement amongst the trio of Machine & Equipment Consortium Africa, MECA, in partnership with NASENI and the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL).
According to him, “The tractors are presently housed in one of NASENI’s institute in Minna Niger State.”
Prof. Haruna said that the President, who is Chairman of the Governing Board of NASENI, expressed satisfaction with the activities of the agency most especially the efforts to fabricate agricultural tools and reverse-engineering of modern machines and equipment aimed at boosting agricultural activities which is a cardinal objective of his administration to revamp the agricultural sector.
Recently at a forum, President Buhari reiterated the determination of his government to resolve the unemployment and job creation issues in the country through his administration’s more focus and investment specifically in the agriculture sector.
Speaking with State House correspondents, Prof.Haruna said, “President Buhari was eager to see that the tractors were deployed to farmers before the next farming season.”
He said “the President was concerned about the state of drudgery and suffering by farmers without modern farm implements”, adding that his administration would do everything within its powers to improve on agriculture and making sure that the government deployed every resource within the system to improve on the practice and incentives for agriculture.
The President, according to Prof. Haruna ordered him to report to Villa soon with reports on the implementation of the presidential directive on the deployment of the tractors and also the directive that the board meeting of the agency should be convened immediately.
President Buhari told him that “an agency like NASENI was set up by the founding fathers in 1992 to bridge the technology and infrastructure gaps between a country like Nigeria and most developed countries of the world whose secrets of advanced socio-economic well-being was their continued investment in science, technology, and research.”
The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI disclosed that the mandate of the agency was to build Nigeria and Nigerians’ confidence in providing capital goods, machines, and equipment needed for industrialisation and transformation of the Nigerian economy.
He said the marching order given to him by the President and the availability of the tractors already on the ground in the agency was proof that the agency was fulfilling or alive with its mandate.
He said, “all the agency need is support by every Nigerians and government so we can continue to fulfill our mandate to the nation.”
Amongst other outstanding inventions and innovations by NASENI include: the Agency has produced the First made-in-Nigeria Tricycle (KEKE NASENI) both Passenger and cargo types. The technology has just been handed over to Innoson Vehicle Nigeria Limited for commercialization and mass production for the markets.
NASENI has designed and produced the First Made-in-Nigeria Motorcycle, First Made-In-Nigeria Solar-Powered Electronic Voting device. NASENI is the Agency of government currently manufacturing locally Solar panels and other solar products and accessories in the whole of West Africa.
NASENI has produced the first made-in-Nigeria transformers which were designed and produced by Nigerian Engineers who were trained recently in China, all were engineers in NASENI.
The agency has produced an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) used for the purpose of agriculture (spraying of insecticides on farms) and surveillance purpose and many more.