M.S. Haruna – Nigeria’s Top 10 Covid-19 Innovators

Executive vice chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure [NASENI].

Professor M.S. Haruna is executive vice chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure [NASENI]. The Agency sets out on a mission to establish a dynamic science and engineering infrastructure base for making home-grown

industrialization happen in Nigeria. It takes on the task of developing capital goods and equipment and the processes for job creation and national development. 

Haruna has attained great milestones to deliver on mandate in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic. He has steered the organization towards an effective response to the challenges of healthcare infrastructure shortages in the face of the health crisis. 

Necessity has proved to be truly the mother of invention at NASENI – which produced the first made in Nigeria ventilators in record time. This is a breakthrough accomplishment for the nation, putting in the hands of healthcare workers the vital equipment in the treatment of coronavirus patients. This is a machine in short supply even in the best healthcare infrastructure environments around the world.

The innovative response has helped in combating the COVID-19 disease in the country. Attesting to the great value the agency has brought in to deal with a national health crisis, Dr. OgbonnayaOnu, minister of science and technology, said the product, like the others developed by NASENI, can compete with any other seen outside the country. 

The minister applauded Haruna for using reverse engineering in designing and fabricating highly acclaimed engineering feats at NASENI. The agency has in place safety tunnel sprayers designed for disinfecting the general public environments and it is for installation in offices, super markets, churches, mosques, etc. It has also produced single disinfectant chambers, which is meant for banks, hotels, etc. 

There is equally NASENI disinfectant delivery device mounted on tricycle, which is meant for disinfecting streets and roads, especially in rural areas. NASENI’s rollout of various technological feats aimed at combating the coronavirus pandemic has come at a time that such products are insufficient globally even in the exporting nations. 

Haruna gives his word of assurance to the nation that NASENI, under his leadership, is up to the task at hand. The agency, he said, is prepared to continue to feed the nation with innovative science and technology products as the need arises. The agency’s intervention products are made of one hundred percent indigenous technology without any foreign input, according to the vice chairman.

NASENI’s leadership has been widely applauded for standing up to the challenge that the coronavirus disease has posed to the ingenuity of Nigerian scientists, engineers and all other fields of healthcare services. The rollout of made-in-Nigeria safety disinfectant devices, ventilators and other medical equipment by NASENI has been underscored as a great support to government toward off the pandemic from Nigeria.

Hajiya, Dr.RamattuTijjani Aliyu, minister of state for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja is confident that the various intervention products developed by the agency would go a long way to sanitize Nigeria’s environments when fully deployed. 

Aliyu sees NASENI headed toward the national goal of deploying technologies and initiatives by Nigerian scientists and engineers to solve Nigeria’s problems, especially in a pandemic like COVID-19, which no nation in the world has any solution to transfer to others. The minister said the feat presents a great opportunity for Nigeria’s intellectual community to once again pride itself to have used science, technology and innovation to tackle the country’s health challenge.

The merit of NASENI’s initiative to produce critically needed intervention products in a pandemic is traced beyond the medical fields to economic impacts. With oil prices down to a historic low, Nigeria’s foreign reserve is being depleted. The agency’s intervention with home-made products therefore represents one big step for the nation to stem the tide of foreign reserve depletion.

Made in NASENI ventilators and other healthcare facilities have been deployed to manage COVID-19 cases in activated hospitals and isolation facilities around the country. The agency is rated as having the capacity to roll out about 40 ventilators per week alongside the various safety disinfectant devices.

NASENI’S ventilator is hailed for its delicate design and precision – which Onu said is a demonstration that what others are doing, Nigeria can do better.

Moved by the agency’s swift response to a national emergency, Aliyu gave a piece of her mind. “I think this development of NASENI interventions for the fight against COVID-19 is really an achievement that has come with a very great delight. The innovations not only could safely disinfect persons totally even with their own clothes on, but also clear evidence that Nigeria is getting somewhere.

“It is a testimony that we are not only locked-down to cry helplessly for outside world’s help as a nation but this is a worthy response to a challenge by our very brilliant scientists and knowledgeable people to go back to the drawing board to proffer solutions to societal problems with what they have acquired in school, various trainings and technologies experiences”.

NASENI has stood out as a motivating force that could lead Nigeria to a breakthrough that the world would celebrate. To Aliyu, it could get to the point of Nigeria coming out with its own vaccine rather than continue to look up to other nations for solutions. “I am surprised at what I am seeing and also I am impressed by the ingenuity demonstrated by scientists and Engineers in NASENI”, she said.