Nigeria, Czech Republic flag off $16.2m bilateral co-funding research, development project
The Czech Republic has allocated $10.5 million in research funding to foster the growth and expansion of infrastructure, manufacturing and innovation in Nigeria.
Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Prof. Mohammed Haruna, made the disclosure during the launch of the Call for Research and Development Proposals for the Delta-2 Programme, yesterday, in Abuja.
The project is a brainchild of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Technology Transfer/Information exchange between Nigeria and the Czech Republic (PICTT), inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.
According to Haruna, besides the $10.5 million funding donated by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR), the Federal Government, through NASENI, would supplement the fund with $5.7 million.
He said: “Technology acquisition and domestication, through this collaboration, will help in bridging the technology gap between Nigeria and the West and facilitate the transition to a manufacturing economy. Indeed, the deployment of technology is crucial to mitigate our socio-economic and security challenges.
“The Delta-2 programme is uniquely designed to catalyse technology transfer and mobilise positive interactions and investments among private sectors and relevant stakeholders in Nigeria and the Czech Republic.”
The NASENI boss noted that the project proposal submissions would cover the period between May and July 2022 and that the output of the projects is expected to yield patents, pilot plants and the development of proven technologies, among others.
Haruna added: “These project results will revolutionise our agricultural practices and mining methods. It is expected to create new micro, small and medium enterprises and promote existing ones. The resulting technologies from these collaborations will be transferred and domesticated in Nigeria through NASENI and other research institutions and private companies.”
Chairman, PICTT, Muhammadu Dahiru, said the Delta-2 programme would empower the nation’s entrepreneurs and research institutions with the technology needed in developing new products and enhancing old ones.
“At the end of the day, we want to start manufacturing things in Nigeria, so that we can stop inflation and the naira’s free fall,” he said.
On her part, the representative of the Czech Republic Ambassador to Nigeria, Beata Matusikova, said given the experience of her country and the potential Nigeria has in technology, both nations can develop a brighter future for the private sector.