The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) Engr. Mansur Ahmed has disclosed that Nigeria had need to spend N3 trillion over the space of 30 years to bridge the country’s infrastructure gap even as he urged the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to play the lead role in leveraging Science, Technology and Engineering infrastructures to fully facilitate sustainable economic growth and development of Nigeria in line with the objectives of the National Development Plans (NDP) 2021-2025 and beyond.
In his keynote address at the occasion of NASENI Day event held in Abuja at the Technology and Innovation Expo 2022, organized by the Federal Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (FMSTI), the MAN President said NASENI was central to the sustainable delivery of the National Economic Development plans which requires N348.1 trillion investment which 85% is expected to come from the private sector.
The MAN President, represented by Mr. Nyananso Gabriel Ekanem, Managing Consultant, WeirCapacity, stated that the six broad objectives of the Nigeria development plan are: Economic diversification, investment in infrastructure, security and good governance, educated and healthy population, poverty alleviation, and economic and social development across States of the federation.
Decrying the financial gap in infrastructural development, he said, Nigeria needed to spend N3 trillion over the space of 30 years in order to bridge the country’s infrastructure gap. “Significant financing from the private sector and multilateral funding are needed to address Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit. Nigeria is behind other emerging market peers and will require significant investments to bridge its infrastructure gap.”
He further stressed that “NASENI should align its strategic directions with the objectives of Nigeria’s National Development plans (starting with NDP 2021-2025). NASENI may also need to rework its institutional structure, infrastructure need and resource plans in tandem with emerging requirements for the implementation of NDPs. NASENI should take the lead role for leveraging the Nigeria science, technology and engineering infrastructure to fully facilitate sustainable economic growth and development of the country”.
He however noted that Nigeria is faced with many budgeting and financing challenges, which according to him include weak institutions and governance framework along with a low tax base which was hindering infrastructure investments.
In his address, the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna said the need to embrace and develop local capacity and capability for innovations leading to a manufacturing economy and growth could not be overemphasized. He frowned at the Nigeria economy being at the mercy of a fluctuating commodity market alone.
Prof. Haruna said “Science and Engineering Infrastructure drive all economies of the world. Our national economy will continue to be in stagnation except we invest in science and engineering infrastructure both in facilities and human capacity. Our manufacturing sector which ought to be a major driver of our economy is suffering because of lack of engineering and other social-economic infrastructures” The NASENI boss used the occasion to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for approving and granting all that was needed to reposition NASENI for solid and sustainable industrialization of Nigeria including funding requirements.
According to Prof. Haruna, “there are promising indicators already against the backdrop of a World Bank report of January 2022. Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow by 2.5% in 2022 and 2.8% in 2023. Based on the report, global growth is expected to decelerate markedly from 5.5 percent to 4.1 percent in 2022, then 3.2 percent in 2023. In order to sustain this economic growth, Nigeria has no alternative than to continuously invest generously in research and development in the areas of Science, Technology and Innovation”, he explained.
Speaking as the chair of the occasion, former President of MAN, Chief kola Jamodu expressed satisfaction in NASENI’s capacity and innovations, therefore, he encouraged investors, entrepreneurs, and the general public to patronize NASENI’s local and indigenous technologies.
Obiorah Ekwuazi Chinyere Chief Information Officer NASENI