power plant1The Federal Government has approved the establishment of an assembly plant for transformers in the country, as a strategic move to bolster power distribution nationwide.

Already, a small hydro power turbine has been designed, fabricated and installed in Ikeji-Ile, Osun State and is currently awaiting commissioning.

The Executive Vice Chairman of National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) Mohammed Sani Haruna, dropped these hints in Abuja Monday during a briefing with journalists at the ongoing eighth Abuja international trade fair.

Haruna said President Goodluck Jonathan gave the go ahead for Nigeria to commence coupling of transformers locally as part of his determination to create more jobs and reduce capital flight.

He explained that part of the president’s desire is to focus on renewable source of power supply with emphasis on small hydro sources.  Consequently, said NASENI had developed local capacity for the production of small hydro power turbines.

“A small hydro power turbine has been successfully designed, fabricated and installed and is currently awaiting commissioning at Ikeji-Ile, Ijesha, Osun State”, he disclosed.

He said the participation of NASENI at the fair stemmed from the success recorded by the agency during previous exhibitions when the impacts the products of the agency had on buyers encouraged them to take most of such products off the shelf outrightly.

Haruna added that involvement of the agency is to expose entrepreneurs to its products and services, since the mandate is to develop relevant technology and infrastructure and transfer the technical know-how to the entrepreneurs, captains of industry, as well as foreign trade missions.

As part of efforts of the agency to concentrate on local mineral resources available in Nigeria, Haruna said the agency had developed capacity in the area of design, development and production of most parts and components of motor cycle and is collaborating with the National Raw Materials Research and Development Council in harnessing and putting into optimal use, the natural resources in the country.

According to him, the main challenge being experienced by the agency is how to link up with entrepreneur, as Nigeria business owners are afraid to try new innovations.

He said the agency is counting on foreign investors who would key in into the dream of the agency, even as he decried inadequate funding regime, which had not encouraged research and further studies.

His words: “Our statutory funding as provided by the law is not funded and the budget regime that is being practised is not friendly to research and development institutes, not only to NASENI, but also other research and development agencies because the budget regime being practiced is more on purchasing rather than research and development.”

The Registrar of Council for Registered Engineers of Nigeria-Kamila Maliki lamented the number of engineering graduates Nigeria universities turn out on a yearly basis without any job.

He said if such youths were incorporated into the agenda of NASENI, the best in them would be brought out for infrastructural development.

“It is a great concern to all engineers that as huge as the number of engineering graduates and engineering practitioners we have in this country, we are still not able to boast of sound engineering infrastructure.

“It is important to work together with NASENI to help to revive the prosperity and the future of this country; we must discourage reliance on imported goods and be able to produce what we use in this country.  COREN and NASENI must be encouraged to work together especially in the area of development of engineering infrastructure. ”

Locally fabricated machineries were on display at the NASENI stand at the fair.

 

Information from The Guardian was used in this report.

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