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NASENI secures $21.7 million deal to boost innovation in agriculture, manufacturing with Czech Republic

Collaboration Between Nigeria and Czech Republic Spurs Funding for SMEs in Delta-2 Projects

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The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has inked a groundbreaking $21.7 million agreement with eleven Nigerian firms under the Delta-2 Projects. This initiative, arising from bilateral collaboration between the federal government of Nigeria and the Czech Republic, aims to drive research, development, and innovation in agriculture, mining, and general manufacturing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

In an address at the agency’s headquarters, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of NASENI, highlighted the Delta-2 Programme’s commitment to transforming Nigeria’s technology and innovation landscape. Launched in 2022, the program is designed to fund and enable projects for SMEs.

The $21.7 million budget is set to finance selected projects, with the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR) contributing $11.7 million and NASENI contributing $10 million as a counterpart fund. The collaborative effort between Nigeria and the Czech Republic, which began in 2014, has evolved into a strategic partnership fostering technological advancements.

Mr. Halilu emphasized NASENI’s dedication to market usefulness and application, stating, “Our vision in the new NASENI that we are building is to create values and to be relevant in the market.” He underscored that for every kobo invested in the Delta-2 program, NASENI expects almost six naira in commercial returns, along with job creation opportunities, capacity building, and technology transfer.

The Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange on Delta 2 Projects, Dr. Dahiru Mohammed, disclosed that the program received 285 proposals from Nigerian companies. The evaluation process, carried out by the Assessment Committee, involved experts from the Nigerian Academy of Science, the Nigerian Academy of Engineering, and the Nigeria-Czech Republic Trade and Investment Council.

The Delta-2 projects aim to yield patents, pilot plants, proven technologies, software, certified methodologies, processes, and specialized maps and databases. These outcomes are anticipated to have a direct and immediate positive impact on Nigerian farmers, miners, and MSME operators.

Separate goodwill messages were delivered at the event by the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji; Chairman of the Senate Committee on NASENI, Chief Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi; Chairman of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Alhaji Aminu Iya Abbas; and Chairman of the House Committee on NASENI, Honourable Taofiq A. Abimbola. These officials reassured NASENI of better enabling laws and collaborative partnerships for improved productivity.

In a related development, NASENI also signed a memorandum of understanding for a production license for the establishment of coal-based fertilizers in Nigeria with PT Saputra Global Harvest. The agreement aims to bolster food security, machinery and equipment supply, capacity development, and licensing for the production of coal-based fertilizer in accordance with international quality standards. This collaboration builds on the renewed hope agenda for Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

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