Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna is executive vice chairman/CEO, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), a federal government institution established in 1992. The establishment followed the recommendation of the National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure in 1991. The 150-member committee comprised scientists, engineers, administrators, federal and state civil servants, economists, lawyers, bankers and industrialists.
NASENI’s mission is to establish and nurture appropriate science and engineering infrastructure base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization. It is expected to accomplish that through the development of relevant processes, capital goods and equipment required for job creation, national economic well-being and development. The agency developed solar powered machines for INEC for the 2015 voters’ registration, electronic voting and collation of results.
It is the only purpose built agency of government and the focus for its developmental works is specified to be in the area of manufacturing. It has responsibility to coordinate the proliferation of technologies developed either within or outside of its centers, including patents obtained.
Its role is to create an enabling knowledge-driven environment for local mass-production of standard parts, goods and services required for the nation’s technological advancement. It creates the enabling framework of transferring technologies developed in the areas of spares, components and systems engineering to entrepreneurs for the production of goods and services. This provides a propelling force for a rapid technological development for the country.
The mandate of NASENI is specifically in the area of capital goods research, production, and reverse engineering in six broad areas. These are engineering materials, industrial and analytical chemical materials and scientific equipment and components. The rest are engineering equipment, engineering designs and standardization and power equipment.
Pursuant of its mandate, NASENI has established eight development institutes over the years, each charged with a specific mandate. The institution has built significant capacities in terms of equipment and facilities for the different areas of specialization. The mono-mandate institutes include Hydraulic Equipment Development Institute in Kumbotso, Kano State, which has a mandate to develop and produce hydraulic and pneumatic machinery, materials, fittings and their production systems and cede the technologies to SMEs.
Prototype Engineering Development Institute in Ilesha, Osun State is mandated to develop engineering prototypes and their production systems and transfer the technologies to the private sector satellite industries. Electronic Development Institute in Awka, Anambra State is given the mandate to develop and produce electronic devices and assemblies, computer technologies and their production systems and cede the technologies to SMEs.
Scientific Equipment Development Institute in Enugu, Enugu State and Minna, Niger State have the mandate to develop and produce scientific equipment and their production systems and cede the technologies to SMEs. NEDDI – National Engineering Design & Development Institute in Nnewi, Anambra State, has a mandate to develop engineering design capacity in the country and disseminate to SMEs.
Engineering Materials Development Institute in Akure, Ondo State is mandated to develop and produce engineering materials and their production systems and cede the technologies to SMEs. Power Equipment and Electrical Machines Development in Okene, Kogi State is given a mandate of developing and manufacturing of machines for production of power equipment and electrical machines. Advanced Manufacturing Technology Project in Jalingo has a mandate for the development of components, machineries and their production systems and the transfer of these to private sector satellite industries.
Each of the institute is equipped with state of the art infrastructures acquired to meet the specific mandate designated for it. These include engineering infrastructure for driving technological development; science infrastructures such as the Primary Science Kit required to demystify science to children and laboratory supplies and equipment for capacity building in areas ranging from electrical engineering to foundry technology.
The institutes are headed by professional engineers with proven experience in engineering practice, research and development. They have so far developed various technologies some of which have been ceded to the SMEs.
Development of engineering designs and dissemination to SMEs is in order to standardize Nigerian made products for global competitiveness; assist other stakeholders in identifying needs and providing information for critical choices for joint venturing and setting best practice standards within and outside the institutes. The target is to move the nation from conventional to newer technologies.
The strategy is to achieve specialized operations in each institute, which will enable NASENI meet its mandate of providing capital goods and services based on sound engineering practices. To this extent, the agency has been making interventions in sectors that need to step up their technological infrastructures and upgrade their research and development resources in order to keep up with the rest of the world.
The manufacturing sector is a case in point where Nigerian manufacturers are yet to catch up with advanced manufacturing technology on which 80% of the world’s manufacturing is now based, according to the agency. It has defined the technological shift that needs to happen in Nigeria for manufacturers here to achieve global competitiveness of industrial products.
In the energy sector, NASENI is pioneering the manufacture of solar plant modules in Karshi – Abuja and small hydro power turbines as well as their installation in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country. It is intervening in the areas of design and production of pole mounted electric transformers, the design and production of wind turbine blades, among others. The objective is to boost access to electricity especially in the rural communities.
Haruna is named one of the Top 10 Magazine’s CEOs of the year, 2017 for his landmark achievements at NASENI, especially his agency’s development of innovative e-voting infrastructure for INEC.