NASENI boss to be sole recipient of national honour at next FEC ― Buhari

NASENI boss to be sole recipient of national honour at next FEC ― Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari will next week confer the national honour of the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) on the Executive Vice Chairman (EVC) of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammad Sani Haruna.

The event will be a rare development as the agency boss will be the sole recipient of the award at the last meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) of 2022 to be presided over by the president.

However, the President has rationalized the gesture, saying that the special recognition is for the EVC’s ability to drive the agency from the position of obscurity to the limelight.

Recall that President Buhari announced the honour and recommendation for Excellence Service Award when he inaugurated the agency’s headquarters named President Muhammadu Buhari Technology and Innovation Centre in Abuja last Monday.

Buhari, who is also the Chairman of NASENI, said he was impressed by the performance of the agency so far with what it has been able to achieve under his administration despite serious funding constraints; classifying the agency as one of the pivotal legacies his administration would bequeath to the next administration in 2023.

According to him, the agency, under Haruna’s leadership, has been repositioned to become a Technology and Innovation Hub for national development.

The President said: “This is one pivotal legacy of this administration. With this complex and available facility, the future of our national competitiveness among global economies is promising. We are sure that these advanced Science and Engineering Core facilities will assist our nation in the attainment of Africa Union’s 2063 Agenda and United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals, 2030.”

Noting that the agency, created over 30 years ago, had been facing multifarious challenges making it perform below its potential in the past, the President said his administration was determined to reverse the trend.

He said: “NASENI has a long history of establishment and has been in existence for over 30 years now, but the agency has been facing so many challenges that were mitigating against the realisation of her full potential in line with the Act that established the agency.”

Continuing, Buhari noted: “Under my Chairmanship, NASENI is undergoing a reinvention and transformation to become a technology and innovation hub for our national development.

“Consequently, we have strategically repositioned NASENI to develop local capacity in machine building and fabrication, which is critical to Nigeria’s Industrial development.”

On why he was impressed by the Haruna’s leadership and resolved to surprise him with the award and honour, Buhari noted that NASENI has begun to domesticate foreign technologies and product development through backward integration, adding that “the recent attraction of 250 Czeck Koruna or $10.5 Million US Dollar Research and Development grant to Nigeria is evidence that our transformation is achieving results in building competitive agency.”

Buhari who said that NASENI, under his watch as the Chairman, has lived up to its expectations and has performed well, added that the Agency has invented useful and historic intelligence and defence-related equipment and devices and has engineered, in collaboration with reputable organisations, armoured personnel carrier with advanced features and mine-resistant ambushed protected APC, among others.

He added that NASENI was advancing the agricultural self-sufficiency, energy, power and homegrown technology programmes of his administration.

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