Who will rebuild NASENI?
By Ezeh Fred
It has been so unfortunate and pathetic how the Nigerian nation has had to contend with politics and corruption in virtually all facets of the nation’s life, including throwing merit to the wind and embracing mediocrity and injustice, just to satisfy some disgruntled interests temporary in the corridor of power.
Apparently, the weeping child in this bad and deadly case of politicking and corruption that has, and continues to, cripple or rather kept us (Nigeria) moving at a snail speed, has been the best hands and brains (professionals) in Nigeria, say, Engineers, Doctors, Academicians, Architects etc, who have in one way or the other refused to soil their hands in the bad or mocky waters of the Nigerian politics for the sake of their integrity and reputation, thereby leaving them with no option than to seek for alternative way of doing their professional jobs which is travelling abroad and selling their knowledge to the outside world.
Research shows that Nigerians has continue to loose its manpowers to the developed nations who has by virtue of their determined drive to continue to dominate the world activities through scientific, technological and innovative research and development via their various research institute as well as commercialisation, thus, providing a conducive working environment and economic boost.
Nigeria, having been identified as a potential world leader in science and technology, considering its abundant mineral deposit and great people with potentials and zeal to climb high to the top of technology in the world.
Achieving this feat requires great planning, coordination and execution by visionary leaders who has the interest of Nigeria at heart, disregarding their own selfish interest which will definitely lead the nation to no where.
This has become the case at the National Agency for Scientific and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) which was established in 1992 by the IBB administration with a clear mandate of conducting a developmental research and work in the area of manufacturing as well as coordinating the proliferation of technologies developed either within or outside of its centers, including also, ensuring that technologies developed in the areas of spare parts component and systems engineering are transfered to entrepreneurs for the production of goods and services for both local consumption and foreign exchange.
NASENI is “armed” with about 9 research institutes positioned at strategic places in Nigeria that has the capacity of transforming Nigeria into one of the world leading technology nations, competing with the likes of China, Japan and US has been facing leadership tussle leading to the paralyse of activities in the agency.
The leadership tussle which apparently was as a result of the immediate past Director-General, Professor Adewuoye trying to cover-up his incompetences and mismanagement by ignoring both the lay-down procedures and moral justification in appointing his successor which ordinarily must be the most senior and experience director in the Agency, rather he chose to pick a less fit candidate who he thinks can cover up his tracks to man the position.
Investigations reveals that despite the warning by the members of the national assembly and other top executive members, the minister of science and technology, professor Ita okon bassey threw caution to the wind and approves the appointment of a less fit candidate as an Acting Director-General of NASENI, literary going contrary to the lay down rules of appointing the most senior and qualified candidate to man the leadership of NASENI perhaps giving consideration to sentiment and personal interest.
This he succeeded in doing by first, imposing a compulsory sabbatical to those senior, experienced and competent directors who he thought will be barrier to him achieving his unjust objectives.
But a reliable source revealed that the minister of science and technology professor Ita okon bassey whose the Agency is under his supervision had compromised the game plans leading to the appointment of the Director-General, surprisingly going to the highest bidder.
The question on the lips of everybody is, who will rebuild NASENI and restore its lost value?
In my opinion, the minister should live up to his reputation and integrity as a renowned scientist by allowing and supporting transparency and due process that will lead to emergence of best and competent candidate to become the substantive Director-General of NASENI.