Halilu Targets First Quarter 2024 To Put NASENI Products In Nigeria Market

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*Agency to Commercialise Products Via Technology Transfers 

* Secures $200m Deal with REA on Renewable Energy

*Attracts Lots of Private Sector Requests 

The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Mr Khalil Suleiman Halilu, has said his vision or direction for the Agency’s products and technologies is to make them available in every household in Nigeria in the next few years.

Nonetheless, Halilu disclosed in Abuja today that some tangible products emanating from NASENI’s prototypes will be in the market through technology transfer arrangements, specifically by the 1st quarter of 2024.

“Expect some products from NASENI’s R&D efforts in the Nigeria market during the first quarter of 2024”. The EVC/CEO disclosed this on Thursday, November 2, 2023, during his maiden television media interaction held at the agency’s headquarters in Abuja. Halilu said expectations from stakeholders of NASENI are very high, as its activities must ensure transparency and focus to assist the Agency in delivering on its mandate.

According to him, part of his preoccupations since assuming office in September is to give adequate attention to enhancing the human capital potential of the agency through improved motivation for staff to enable them to adjust to the transformations to be introduced in the system. Also, he said stakeholders’ engagements and efforts to rebrand the agency around its products and technologies have remained top priorities.

The New NASENI Chief Executive said that the era of stacking prototypes on shelves has ended in the agency, saying that all its products and technologies must find their way to the market.

“We are going to do a national rebranding to follow in the footsteps of NASENI products in every household in the country. In the next few years, this is what Nigerians should expect. We are no longer going to sit back to watch endless research and prototypes, keeping them on the shelves.

“We will take them to the market so that Nigerians can consume them. In fact, one of our plans for next year is to have NASENI Showrooms in key cities of the country. So NASENI products are not things you view only on television, but anyone could walk into our product outlets to experience those technologies that we’ve been talking about. And that is another way we will be expecting the public to hold us accountable as part of the promises we made.”

The EVC/CEO further stated that he met lots of wonderful researchers with over 150 products at the prototype level when he came on board. “However, the commercialization aspects are very little. Coming from my background of manufacturing and technological innovation, I believe the whole essence of doing research is to transform it into meaningful products that will have impacts on the economy.’’

“We are going to do this through technology transfer. Ever since we made the announcement to go into technology transfer, especially with the intention of having our products in the market, we have been receiving a lot of interest from private sector organizations looking out for our capacity, the spread and goodwill which we are endowed with as a government organization, and how they can partner with us.”

He recalled a recent trip to China by the top management of the agency, led by the EVC/CEO himself: “We just came back from China with the Vice President from the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum, where we signed a $2 billion partnership MOU for technology transfer into Nigeria, which is something we were able to achieve in just five weeks of operations. At the same forum, we received a lot of partners that provided letters of Intent to partner with us and to invest in the country’s economy, amounting to $4 billion.”

The EVC said NASENI’s China trip has the potential to yield about $6 billion in foreign direct investment (FDI) to Nigeria. The areas that the agency received interest were Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), Electric Vehicles (EVs), Agricultural equipment, Electronics and Electrical equipment and many others.

This effort he observed has sent a positive signal to the world and potential partners. “Everyone is looking forward to Africa, there is no better time than now to leapfrog development, reduction of unemployment and alleviation of poverty. We have resources in abundance and we have to add value to whatever we are doing.  One of the alarming things in our economy is the fact that we are adding little or no value to our commodities, yet we are heavily a consuming economy with a big workforce. We are trying to see how we are going to change that narrative; given the kind of mandate we have at NASENI”

Nigeria cannot afford to continue to export her raw materials, therefore we have set up strategies, outfits and partners to see to the kind of policies as well as government inputs to support our desire to add value to our commodities and raw materials before exports.

Mr. Halilu recalled that NASENI under his leadership has rigorously been involved in lots of stakeholder engagements, with many organisations showing interest in its activities for collaboration and product offtake. One of such partners, he said, was the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), for example, which had committed itself to a whopping $200 million procurement agreement with NASENI as long as our agency could produce the kind of products they consume.”

He said that NASENI’s team has also conferred with the Minister of Science and Technology to explore areas of opportunity around gas, ditto, and the Ministers of Information and Finance, amongst other stakeholders. He added that lots of stakeholders’ have lined up and shown much interest in the new direction being charted by the New NASENI, and are willing to partner with the agency. The most recent of the stakeholders’ engagements took place on Wednesday this week, when the management of the agency, led by the EVC/CEO, met with members of the National Assembly, especially the Senate Committee on NASENI, which has oversight functions on the Agency.

“The distinguished lawmakers wanted products to come to the economy, and NASENI too wants products to go into the market, so both we and the senators are on the same page in terms of expectation and the renewed hope to revamp the economy along the lines of productivity and development of the real sector.

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