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*IMPLEMENTATION OF DELTA PROGRAMME: NASENI, Delta-2 Partners Sign $21.7m Projects Agreements*

   *Signs MoU for Establishment of Coal-based Fertilizers

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) has signed an agreement worth $21.7 million with eleven firms in Nigeria as beneficiaries for take-off of the Delta-2 Projects, being the outcome of the bilateral collaboration between the federal government of Nigeria and the Czech Republic.

The Nigerian beneficiary companies are expected to come up with various products and services to be injected into the Nigeria economy. The Delta-2 Programme is being implemented by the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange (PICTT), NASENI as implementing Agency for Nigeria, working in partnership with the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR).

In his welcome address on Monday, December 18, 2023 at the Agency’s headquarters, the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NASENI, Mr Khalil Suleiman Halilu, said the Delta 2 programme, which was launched in 2022, designed with the aim of funding and enabling research, development and innovation projects in Agriculture, Mining, and General Manufacturing for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

With $21.7 million set aside to finance the selected projects, TA CR will contribute $11.7 million while NASENI will contribute $10 million as counterpart fund. The bilateral cooperation between Nigeria and the Czech Republic began on 15th May, 2014.

Mr. Halilu emphasized that the Delta-2 Programme was yet another manifestation of NASENI’s commitment to fulfilling its mandate of transforming Nigeria’s technology and innovation landscape, through sustained focus on its 3Cs principles of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization.

“Ultimately, our goal is not just to produce prototypes and models, but to ensure that the outcomes of the partnership are taken to market; that they are available commercially for consumers and end-users to benefit from, knowing that the real value of technology lies in market usefulness and application, our vision in the new NASENI that we are building is to create values and to be relevant in the market”.

The EVC/CEO reiterated that for every single kobo that NASENI will invest into this phase of the Delta-2 program, to develop new projects and products, the Agency will realize almost six naira (N6) in commercial returns, in addition to job creation opportunities, capacity building and technology transfer.

“That is what NASENI stands for: leveraging technology and talent to deliver returns that benefit Nigeria on multiple levels,”. Halilu said while congratulating the selected beneficiaries of the projects, urged them not to take this massive opportunity for granted as the funds would be deployed with a sense of service and responsibility.

According to the Chairman, Presidential Implementation Committee (PIC) on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange on Delta 2 Projects, Dr. Dahiru Mohammed, he said the program was launched on 18th May, 2022 with 285 proposals received from various companies registered in Nigeria. He stated that the evaluation of the proposals was carried out diligently by members of the Assessment Committee who were selected from the Nigerian Academy of Science, Nigerian Academy of Engineering (as research experts) and the Nigeria-Czech Republic Trade and Investment Council (NCTIC).

The process was well coordinated by experts in both fields of research and business and ably assisted by the PIC secretariat. “It is noteworthy that the distribution of the beneficiaries of the awards spans across the country, having all zones represented. “The funds are ready and we eagerly look forward to start implementation in January 2024. The funding of the projects is scheduled to last between 12 to 36 months,” Dahiru added.

He further said the idea behind the Delta-2 projects was to yield patents, pilot plants, proven technologies, software, certified methodologies, processes and specialized maps, and databases, among others, which is expected that the outcomes of the various projects will have a direct and immediate positive impact on the average Nigerian farmers, miners and MSME operators.
The resulting technologies from these collaborations will be transferred and domesticated in Nigeria through NASENI and other research institutions and private companies.

At the event, separate goodwill messages came from the Minister of Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji; Chairman, Senate Committee on NASENI, Chief Ezenwa Francis Onyewuchi; Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Alhaji Aminu Iya Abbas and the Chairman, House Committee on NASENI, Honourable Taofiq A. Abimbola, who reassured the Agency of better enabling laws and collaborating partnership for better productivity.

In a related development, NASENI signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) for production license for the establishment of Coal-based fertilizers in Nigeria with PT Saputra Global Harvest. The agreement with SAPUTRA covers three key areas. Halilu said, “Food Security is one of the priority areas on the Renewed Hope agenda of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The President is determined to build a Nigeria that is not only able to feed itself in an affordable manner, but also one that is able to produce surplus food for export.”

Others are: the supply of machinery and equipment that will enable us produce coal-based fertilizer for use in Nigeria; the capacity development component, which is the training of Nigerian personnel on the use and maintenance of these equipment; and the licensing that gives Nigeria the permission to produce the coal-based fertilizer according to the prevailing standards of quality already established by Saputra.The agreement is building on the initial MoU signed between NASENI and Saputra in September 2022, as part of steps to strengthen the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and Indonesia, while also supporting the development of Nigeria’s agricultural sector

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