“Nigeria’s True Independence Hinges on Self-Reliance in Science, Research and Infrastructural Development” – Says Governor Ayade.

…As the Governor Advocates Support for NASENI.

The Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Benedict Ayade has said that until research, science, technology and Infrastructure development form the bedrock of Nigeria’s economic development strategy, then, Nigeria has not attained true independence.

Prof.Ayade said “what Nigeria had in 1960 as political independence was not complete until the country ends her over-dependence on foreigners for everything.

The Governor, as a recipient of Award of Excellent Performance, was speaking today at the Appreciation and Award Day Ceremony organized by the three Trade Unions of the NASENI Headquarters, under the auspices of Joint Action Congress (JAC) where the Congress recognized those who had helped the Agency to attain its present status of national importance.

The Governor while speaking on behalf of the rest of the awardees which included the Executive Vice Chairman/CE of NASENI, Engr.Prof.M.SHaruna (Lifetime Achiever Award), said that a nation is truly independent if it is not technologically dependent.

According to Ayade, the independence of Nigeria in 1960 was mere political independence and that is why the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has come to bridge the technology gaps.

“Independence is when Nigeria becomes self-reliance in technology and engineering development”. He stressed.

Prof. Ayade described Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna as “a colleague Professor and a gift to Nigeria”.

He said NASENI has come of age with the recent presidential and NEC approval to have her statutory dues and all that is provided in the Laws establishing her to have 1 % of the Federation Account.

“Once that is implemented, NASENI will be in a position to begin the real research in science and engineering innovation to proffer solutions and innovate technologies that meet our needs as a nation.

He said the time had come when Africa and indeed Nigeria cannot continuously depend on foreigners to tell us what to do. Governor Ayade said Nigeria does not need a white man to direct her on what to do with the constant sunlight the country is enjoying. “With the massive sunlight we got here, we do not need a white man to come here and tell us how to tap the photovoltaic resources or how to convert it to electricity.

He further asked: “How long should we continue to depend on external forces to be able to give us direction.? That is why NASENI is here to bridge the gaps, and also that is why I come in person to honour this award because as a professor of science, I need the fellowship with my colleague, Prof. Haruna who is also a professor in engineering and to say that we must stand strong as a nation”.

The Governor, however, observed that the entire Africa continent depends on Nigeria as a nation and if Nigeria fails, Africans have failed, stressing that, Black is no longer a colour, but a representation of a people.

Receiving Outstanding Performance Award, Governor Ayade, commended the efforts of NASENI, and pleaded that President Muhammed Buhari should fast-track the release of the 1% of the Federation Account approved for NASENI to enable it to commence the development of science and technology across the country, noting that Cross River states needed indigenous technology to boost the mechanized agricultural value chains going on in the State presently.

In his speech, Prof. M.S.Haruna, commended the Unions for the initiative to honour those who had contributed to the achievements made by the Agency, adding that it was a justification that the workers were committed to working hard, especially now that they have been given resources that they needed to demonstrate their capability to meet the demand and the challenges given to them.

On the partnership with State Governors, Prof Haruna disclosed, “We have a partnership with the Governors Forum and the collaboration is working.

Other recipients of the awards included: Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong, Nasarawa State Governor, Abdullahi Sule, Mrs.Nonyem Onyechi who is the Coordinating Director, Planning & Business Development, NASENI, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Dr.Uche Ekwunife, the Chairman, House Committee on Science and Technology, Hon. Beni Lar, Dr. Mohammed Aminu Mohammed, Director of Procurement, NASENI, and many others.


Mr.Olusegun Ayeoyenikan Deputy Director, Information.