The Executive Vice Chairman of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), Dr. Bashir Gwandu, embarked on a significant visit to His Excellency Zdeněk Krejčí, the Ambassador of the Czech Republic to Nigeria.
The purpose of this visit was to explore opportunities for collaboration in the realm of business and to conduct a fact-finding mission regarding the Delta2 Project.
During his courtesy call at the Czech ambassador’s office in Abuja on Friday, August 18, 2023, Dr. Gwandu articulated his intention to gain insights into the reasons behind the unsuccessful outcome of the Delta2 Project.
Originally envisioned as a bilateral initiative between the Nigerian government, represented by NASENI, and the Czech Republic government, represented by the Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TA CR), the project aimed to facilitate the launch of endeavors that would stimulate the growth of infrastructure, manufacturing, and innovation within Nigeria. The overarching goal was to cultivate a climate conducive to the development of homegrown technologies and products under the banner of “Made-in-Nigeria.”
Dr. Gwandu conveyed to the ambassador that the newly established administration at NASENI is eager to collaborate closely with the Czech government. Their shared objective is to advance Nigeria’s agenda for industrialization and to draw fresh investments into the nation. This collaborative effort seeks to foster the localization of technologies through strategic partnerships.
Highlighting NASENI’s mandate, Dr. Gwandu emphasized its role in driving the domestic production of items that Nigeria currently imports but possesses the capacity to manufacture domestically. This approach is envisaged to not only bolster the nation’s economy but also to generate employment opportunities for a significant portion of the Nigerian populace.
“I want us to work on -government-to-government level on new initiatives we embark on. We want a relationship that is beneficial to our country. We have a lot of companies we are reaching out to. We want to work with the Czech government and companies. We want them to come here and start producing and domesticating technologies. We want to industrialize Nigeria.
“We want Czech companies to come and invest here in Nigeria and have partnership with us,” Gwandu said, adding that NASENI is working on new initiatives that would accelerate Nigeria’s industrialization and would partner companies from the Czech Republic and other countries ready to set up factories and industrial bases in Nigeria.
The Czech ambassador expressed his appreciation for the EVC of NASENI and his team’s visit to the embassy. During the visit, they inquired about the reasons behind the non-commencement of the Delta2 Project. The ambassador conveyed his country’s willingness to engage in scientific collaborations with NASENI.
“We await your new initiatives. In our country we have a grant agency and a technology agency responsible for scientific cooperations and also the academy of sciences which will be beneficial to you.
“We have about two or three companies that are ready to work with you and three universities working with tropical agriculture. I think they deserve your cooperation,” he said, adding that they are ready to work with NASENI to make the new initiatives fruitful.