Consultations are in top gear for building First Nigerian Made Aircraft, President Muhammadu Buhari is not leaving any stone upturned in the renewed efforts to tackle youths’ unemployment and general improvement of the economy through conversion of all research results and innovation’s technology outputs on the shelves of research institutes to job creation opportunities.
In this direction, the Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Company (Nigeria’s only indigenous auto-manufacturer) has agreed to take-up all automobile research and development (R & D) results at the National Agency for Science & Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and convert them to automobile products for the markets including getting some of them ready for exports.
Buhari is the chairman, board of NASENI while Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna is the executive vice chairman, board of the research and development agency.
Before now, NASENI had since 2013 designed & produced prototypes of first made-in-Nigeria motorcycle (both cargo & passenger types) and also successfully designed and produced first made-in-Nigeria tricycle (Keke).
The agency in addition had designed and produced prototype of jet engine to manufacture first made-in-Nigeria aircraft, amongst other several successfully designed automobile spare parts.
All these designs and prototypes however were lying on the shelves because Nigerian entrepreneurs were not interested in them to take them further to full manufactured products and commercialisation, thereby creating local jobs and wealth at home.
The jinx was however broken yesterday as the federal government signed the take-off agreements with Innoson Motors to complete these auto designs up to finished products.
Haruna who signed the agreement on behalf of government said: “Today is the happiest day for me as the chief executive of NASENI because the dreams of President Muhammadu Buhari and those of the founding fathers are coming to pass which was to see that NASENI’S designs and technologies are transferable to the private sector & industry”
He went down memory lane saying “the partnership between Innoson Motors and NASENI started since 2013 when NASENI produced and launched it’s first mede-in- Nigeria motorcycle (NASENI M1), but I am happier today that the deal to work together has been sealed”.
The EVC said it was encouraging and patriotic for Innoson Motors to believe in Nigeria and Nigerian engineers and their ingenuities.
He said NASENI’s research outputs are numerous, but most Nigerian entrepreneurs were not interested in working with the agency as they preferred to bring in finished products from overseas thereby indirectly hampering endogenous economic development of the country.
“But today both the federal government through NASENI and Innoson Motors have agreed to join in research and development and to proffer development solutions or work together on whatever is needed in automobiles in Nigeria,” he added.
According to Haruna, with the commencement of the implementation of the agreements to build First Nigerian Made Aircraft, NASENI and Innoson Motors will no doubt move Nigeria forward.
In his response, the CEO of Innoson Vehicle Manufacturing Ltd, Chief Innocent Chukwuma said NASENI had been doing a lot of things in the areas of research and development, but ”today we have commenced a partnership that will live forever”
In building Nigeria’s First Aircraft, he said: “Both NASENI and Innoson Motors are passionate about lifting Nigeria out of economic woods and with God on our side, we shall succeed together”
“NASENI has tried with their designs and automobile prototypes, it is our job as manufacturers to take it up from there and build First Nigerian Made Aircraft”
Curiously, he added, “NASENI’s moulds and designs are comparable to the ones which my company brings from abroad, so I ask myself, why don’t I patronize the designs by my fellow countrymen thereby building their confidence to do more. That’s why I am here.”
A statement by the agency’s deputy director, information, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan said with this collaboration, Nigeria would soon have a success story to tell in the production of automobile spare parts locally even to the extent of exports.
“A lot of things can be produced locally in Nigeria. I am assessing NASENI with the technologies it already has on ground synthesizing them with our own technologies, as the two joined together, we will move Nigeria forward. This joint efforts in research and development will not only benefit Nigeria and Africa but will be for the progress of the entire world. With what NASENI has on ground, working with them is worthwhile,” he added.