—Agency receives N44.56bn out of N56bn from 2022 budget
–Says Imo, Kaduna skills institutes’ll be completed in March
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru, Abuja
The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, on Friday, said it is has received orders from Uganda, Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire to produce and supply laboratory equipment for tertiary institutions and secondary schools.
The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Prof. Mohammad Haruna, disclosed this to State House correspondents after meeting behind closed-doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The NASENI boss said he was at the seat of power to brief the President on the activities and finances of the agency for the third quarter of 2022.
According to him, NASENI is implementing various local and international contracts to manufacture and supply laboratory equipment.
He said, “Yes, we are generating revenue. Our Solar manufacturing plant is a limited liability company of government. That is revenue for the government. Other activities are the production of the laboratory equipment for secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
“Just yesterday (Thursday), we received orders from Uganda. They want supply of this laboratory equipment from us. That is a revenue source for the government.
“Cameroon and Cote d’Ivoire are also patronising these products. Payment for this goes directly into the consolidated revenue account. So, that is some of our revenue generating activities.”
Prof. Haruna also revealed that the Agency received N44.56 billion from the federal government, explaining that it was 20 per cent less than the N56 billion earlier appropriated for the 2022 fiscal year.
Between July and September 2022, NASENI received N35.61bn as first line charges. N28.77bn of that amount has been spent, leaving a balance of N6.84bn, said the Executive Vice Chairman.
But Prof. Haruna said, “The major areas that these funds were utilised is the federal government of Nigeria’s 15 per cent counterpart funding for our projects with China Great Wall Industry Cooperation for the establishment of transformer manufacturing plant, establishment of high voltage technology testing laboratory and the production of solar cells in Nigeria the total project costs of course was the China Great Wall is $325.86m.
“The Federal government is to provide 15 per cent. Out of these, NASENI has so far paid N10bn or $23,928,063. So out of the $48m of the 15 per cent counterpart funding, we have paid so far $23.9m. The balance as at the end of the third quarter is N24.9m.”
He further stated that the funds went for the acquisition and domestication of technologies for the laboratory equipment for secondary and tertiary institution from Delorenzo, Italy. This includes training and local production of equipment.
Haruna said that the infrastructure agency utilised part of the appropriated funds for aircraft development and some defense related equipment.
He said, “Part of our collaboration with the defense sector and development of three out of the 12 new Institutes that the federal government has approved and the development of three out of 24 skill development centers that Mr. president has approved.
“And of course, completion and equipping NASENI technology complex that Mr. President has commissioned recently. And production of food processing equipment and provision of laboratory equipment, and of course, upgrading NASENI institutes across the nation. These are the major areas.”
He also said that the Federal Government will complete payment of the 15 per cent counterpart funding of the China Great Wall Corporation by Q2 2023, Prof. Haruna disclosed.
He said that three out of 24 skill development centres will be commissioned by March 2023.
“The ones that are near completion are the Agricultural Equipment and Machinery Development Institute in Mbutu, Aboh-Mbaise near Owerri in Imo state. This has been delayed by some security challenges.
“However, through the intervention of the state governor, work is taking place at the site 24 hours. God willing, in March, after the elections, the President will commission that.
“So also, the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute in Lafia Nasarawa state. Work has reached advanced stage. That one also will be due for commissioning. There is skill developments centre in Gwantu, Kaduna state. That one will be ready for commissioning in March too,” he said.
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