President Muhammadu Buhari has granted approval for the establishment of the Agricultural Equipment and Machinery Development Institute for the South-South geo-political zone in Cross River State.
Mohammed Haruna, vice chairman and chief executive officer (CEO), National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), made the confirmation while presenting the approval letter to Governor Ben Ayade in Calabar.
Haruna disclosed that the choice of Cross River followed a rigorous evaluation of states in the South-South zone, along with other parameters.
Speaking on the purpose for the institute’s establishment, the NASENI CEO explained that there is a growing need to embrace research and technology in the agricultural sector to ensure food security and sustainable output in the country.
On his part, Ayade expressed gratitude to the president and NASENI for considering Cross River as the appropriate choice to site the institute.
Decrying Nigeria’s over-dependence on foreign technology, the governor stressed that as long as a nation depends on another for agricultural equipment, ammunition, food, drugs, such a nation would remain enslaved to others. He, however, commended Haruna’s commitment towards changing the narrative via NASENI.
“For us, there is no institute in Nigeria that is bigger than the one you are about to site here. The institute will focus on the manufacturing of the equipment for agricultural purposes and beyond that, whatever is the object clause of NASENI can be done from this institute,” he noted.
The governor directed John Inyang, the state commissioner for lands, to immediately make land available for the institute. He also announced the provision of temporary office accommodation and vehicles to NASENI to effectively facilitate the establishment of the institute.
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