Nigeria, Czech Sign $21.7m Agreement to Enhance Research

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the Czech Republic have  signed a $21.7 million agreement to implement Delta-2 projects in Nigeria by Czech institutions.

The agency also signed an agreement with an Indonesian firm, SAPUTRA Global Harvest to build a coal fertiliser plant for food security. The signing of the agreements took place yesterday at the headquarters of NASENI in Abuja.

The Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Khalil Halilu said the agency would finance Delta-2 projects with $10 million while Technology Agency of Czech Republic (TACR) will provide the remaining $11.7m.

Halilu said he was elated that the $21.7 million funding for the Delta-2 projects aimed at enhancing research, development and innovation in Nigeria had come to fruition.

“This Delta 2 programme, launched in 2021, has been designed with the aim of funding and enabling research, development and innovation projects in three focus areas: Agriculture, Mining, and General Manufacturing for SMEs.

“Of the $21.7 million set aside to finance selected projects, TACR is contributing $11.7 million while NASENI is contributing $10 million,” he said.

He added: “The Delta 2 programme is yet another manifestation of NASENI’s commitment to fulfilling its mandate of transforming Nigeria’s technology and innovation landscape, through sustained focus on the 3Cs of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialisation.

“Ultimately, our goal is not just to produce prototypes and models, but to ensure that these 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 be valued and relevant in the market,”

He also noted that the coal fertiliser plant would go a long way in boosting agricultural production in the country.

The Chairman of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer/Information Exchange between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Czech Republic, Dr. Dahiru Mohammed in his remarks said: “The funds are ready and we eagerly look forward to starting implementation in January 2024. The funding of the projects is scheduled to last between 12 to 36 months.

“The resulting technologies from these collaborations will be transferred and domesticated in Nigeria through NASENI and other research institutions and private companies as planned,” he said.

Also, the President Commissioner, SAPUTRA Global Harvest, Umar Saputra, said coal fertiliser was the answer to one of the major challenges that agriculture is currently facing.

“The agricultural world is currently entering difficult times, starting from the increasingly damaged agricultural soil as a result of the continuous application of chemical fertilisers and the increasingly expensive price of chemical fertilisers, plus there are very many countries with fertilizer needs, especially phosphate and potassium, are almost 100 per cent imported.

“So countries’ food production problems can be disrupted when the world’s supply chain of phosphate and potassium is disrupted as we are currently experiencing as a result of the Russia and Ukraine war,” he stated.

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