Lawmakers decry poor funding of government agencies
Lawmakers have expressed dismay and disappointment at the low level funding of some government agencies despite the enormous potential they hold to take Nigeria out of the woods using innovative indigenous technologies.
The lawmakers, members of the House of Representatives Committee on Science and Technology, expressed the disappointment during an oversight visit to the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), on Friday.
Led by the committee Chairman, Beni Lar, the committee promised to sit with the Budget Office to ensure that such agencies are well funded from the next budget.
According to the Chief Information Officer of NASENI, Olusegun Ayeoyenikan, the lawmakers were surprised that the agency had developed so much local technology, but has not been able to get financial support from government to commercialise them.
He listed some of the technologies developed to include; 7.5 kilowatt solar technologies facility, propeller turbines power generation technology, 35killowatt cross flow small hydro turbine, 5 kilowatt kinetic hydro turbine facility, first made in Nigeria tricycle and motorcycle, nano science and nano-medicine facilities, rotary furnace manufacturing technology (all on commercial scale).
Others are pole mounted transformer, integrated cassava flour manufacturing facility, energy saving bulb manufacturing technology, multi grain threshing machine and the advanced manufacturing technology facility.
The latest machine developed by the agency, which was launched, last week is the electronic voting machine powered by solar energy.These are all homegrown technologies that are awaiting funding for commercialisation and mass production for the benefit of businesses and individual Nigerians.
According to Ayeoyenikan, NASENI is an organisation set up by the Federal Government to produce home-grown technologies, local capital goods, machines and equipment targeted at reducing over-dependence on importation by Nigeria’s manufacturing sector and all engineering inputs and technology needed for operations by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMES) within the country’s borders. However, its capacity to fulfill this mandate has been hampered by poor funding.
Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI, Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna said a successful collection of the statutory levy should reduce total dependency of NASENI on government funding.