The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the Nigerian Navy have agreed to work together in order to gain ownership of infrastructural development of the Nigeria Maritime sector, including other key sectors even as the NASENI boss said the objective of the collaboration was to reduce capital flight and strengthen National development.
The two Agencies of the Federal Government reached this agreement today in Abuja leading to the signing of a Memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a collaborative relationship between NASENI and the Nigerian Navy in areas of research, development, and training to enhance local content, technology transfer and reverse engineering of nautical equipment.
The MoU will also jointly develop and produce maritime platforms and weapons for the Nigerian Navy, in particular, to function more effectively and also for the Defence Industry in general.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony which took place at the Headquarters of the Nigerian Navy in Abuja, the Executive Vice Chairman/ Chief Executive of NASENI, Engr. Prof. Mohammed Sani Haruna, OFR said aside from ensuring Research and Development, and training in local manufacturing of Maritime equipment for the Nigerian Navy, the implementation of the MoU would reduce capital flight, enhance foreign exchange conservation, and reduction of importation of war equipment into the country.
According to him, the most important component of this working together with NASENI is that it would save the Nigerian Navy scarce foreign exchange as the military institution would begin making use of what the country could produce locally and also build the capacity of the Naval personnel.
He said, “The creativity and ingenuity of the present crop of Nigerian Naval personnel were what attracted NASENI management to approach the leadership of the force for partnership, the relationship will develop facilities that could ease our work in the local development of our infrastructures and reduce capital flight. The Nigerian Navy would become fully active in developing their own ship, design, and fabrication of components and spare parts. He said the Nigerian Navy working together with NASENI would strengthen the Naval capacity and manpower to do more and to take ownership of our infrastructural development within the force”.
The EVC however promised that the MoU would produce tangible benefits to the development of the nation’s economy and the Nigerian Army, Navy, and other key sectors of the economy.
In his own remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo described the event as historic, saying that the MoU would strengthen Inter-Agency relationships for Maritime development, adding that he was a witness to what NASENI stands for in Nigeria today, “the Agency is changing the dynamics of engineering and promoting research and development in every aspect of the Nation”, he said.
According to him “the MoU will not end on paper but will ensure the utilization of mutual relationship between the two parties in Research and Development that could enhance the development of Nigeria sustainability”
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration for all the efforts made to develop Nigeria technologically, he said that the Nigerian Navy was well positioned to meet the terms of the MoU for the benefit of the country.
Elaborating on the purpose of the MoU, the Chief of Naval Engineering, Rear Admiral Lawal said that NASENI and the Navy signed the MoU with the view to harmonize both institutional capacities and to utilize the available manpower for the two parties to take ownership of engineering and technology development of the country. He said that the signing of the MoU was the final stage of the relationship which existed between NASENI and the Nigerian Navy since 2016. “It is expected that in the nearest future, both parties would develop capacity in the area of oil and gas exploration and establish a factory that will produce military equipment.”
He added that the MoU would make NASENI and Nigerian Navy collaborate on technical and financial support for research and development activities and leverage on NASENI mandate to upgrade the production of local warship building, engineering infrastructure, and other Nigerian Navy technical supports.
“The MoU will provide engineering training facilities and skill acquisition enhancement to support the Nigerian Navy. It will provide engineering, research, and development training and capacity development to the Nigerian Navy personnel and support other activities incidental to engineering services, research, and development in the Nigerian Navy for the overall development of the Nigerian Maritime industry”, he further explained