President Muhammadu Buhari at the weekend flagged off operations of the Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI) Lafia, one of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure’s, NASENI, Institutes, even as President Buhari gave thumbs up to the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive of NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna and Management for completing the project in record time.
“You have worked very hard to achieve this, I commend you and your management for a job well done, to have completed this project with such speed”. With these words at the weekend, President Buhari commissioned AMEDI, Lafia and therefore the institute set out to fulfill its mandate toward the agricultural revolution agenda of the government.
Recall that the foundation laying ceremony of the institute was performed by President Buhari in August 2022. He was represented at the event by his Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.
Equipped with modern laboratories and machines for mechanized farming and agricultural development in the country, AMEDI is built for the purpose of making Nigeria a hub and supplier of Agro-Allied technologies, equipment, and machines towards achieving an Agricultural revolution within the West African subregion and also to reduce Nigeria’s reliance on importation of foreign technologies and all agricultural implements.
The Institute houses a smart administrative block, Juice Producing Machine, Tomatoes paste production, and Milk production factories including laboratories and machine design workshops. Also, the institute is expected to host a demonstration farm which would serve as a pilot to showcase new farming methods using modern techniques in agricultural processing, innovation and technologies and a system of providing extension services to Nigerian farmers and Agro-allied industries in the North-Central geo-political zone of the country and beyond.
In 2021, President Buhari approved the establishment of six Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes, one per geopolitical zone of the country with the aim, not only to ensure food security for Nigerians, but also for the purpose of export of foods and other agricultural implements to neighbouring African countries.
After the cutting of tape, and during the tour of the institute’s modern facilities, President Buhari Commended NASENI for building such an ultramodern institute, saying it would create jobs for the unemployed youths and as well as create wealth for the nation, while the EVC, Prof. M.S Haruna thanked the President for taking the management of the Agency with the project and also for the financial backing of the Federal government.
“Sir, Your Excellency, it is your dream for Nigeria that is already coming to pass with the speedy completion of work and take off of this institute during the lifetime of your administration”, Prof. Haruna told the President.
The Governor of Nasarawa state Engr. Abdullahi Sule, who accompanied Mr. President to the commissioning of AMEDI, thanked the President for inaugurating Federal and State projects. He noted that AMEDI would transform agricultural production in the country and ensure food security. He also lauded the President’s support towards education, healthcare delivery, and increased security in the State.
Speaking to Journalists shortly after the commissioning ceremony, Prof. Haruna said that AMEDI Lafia was ready for commissioning as a result of the commitment, hard work, interest, and patriotism of NASENI management and also the contractors handling the project, adding that the foundation laying ceremony for the Institute was performed on 1st of August, 2022.
According to him, “the laboratory, gatehouse, everything you see here was done within a space of 5 months. We are committed, and the contractors are committed. So, we worked 24 hours, because we want the President to commission the complex before May 29, 2023, and we are here today for the ceremony. Despite the distractions like rain, we were able to reach this stage, we thank God.
On the challenges that the Agency passed through while building the complex, he said one of them was how to keep the workers 24 hours on site, supervising them from Abuja and everywhere.
“The Other challenge is that this is not the only project. The Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institutes approved by the President are one per geopolitical zone of the country. This one in Nasarawa is for the north-central. The one for the South-South is in Cross River State, now under construction, also the one in South East is located in Mbutu, Abom-Mbaise in Imo State also under construction. We still have three more to go.” Said Prof. Haruna.
However, he noted that among the six, these three were the ones for which construction work had commenced, adding that the other three were yet to commence, the Nort-West, North East, and the South West in Oshogbo will soon take off.