By Maryam Habeeb
The Executive Vice-Chairman/Chief Executive of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, NASENI, Prof. Mohammed Haruna yesterday said no university should exist without having engineering and technical training for its students.
Professor Haruna said a university must have the faculty of engineering to train people not only for gainful employment but for them to be determined to be self-employed.
Haruna also said NASENI, in collaboration with De Lorenzo SPA of Italy, has handed over multi-million Naira engineering equipment to the newly- established Faculty of Engineering in Nasarawa State University, Keffi.
He said the equipment, which is related to telecommunications, automation, electronics and electrical engineering, will assist students of the university in practical training.
He said the partnership marks the beginning of collaboration between Nasarawa State university with De Lorenzo and its affiliated universities in Italy.
Haruna, who spoke during the handover ceremony, said the donation of the equipment is the beginning of collaboration of Nasarawa State University with De Lorenzo and its affiliated universities in Italy.
He said: “No university should exist without having engineering and technical training for its students. Technology is the solution and you must have the faculty of engineering to train people not only for gainful employment but for them to be determined to be self-employed. They can’t do that unless they have the confidence from school, handling equipment themselves.
“The Federal Government through NASENI and other agencies have been intervening, we have gone through all nooks and crannies of this nation, collaborating with universities and providing those equipment that they need. In fact, we are collaborating with some universities in running programmes that are not available locally while NASENI provides the technical know-how.
“For example in our centre in Advanced Material and Nano Technology in collaboration with the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) we are running practical Master’s degree in new materials and Nano technology. The graduates of those MSc programme must produce something beneficial to the nation before they can graduate.
“It is the same at ATBU Bauchi on electronic and electrical product development and automation. At the Federal University of Technology Owerri, our centres in Awka and Nnewi are supporting the programme at the university in the areas of Mechatronics and automation.
“So, we have been collaborating all over the country because it is within our mandate because it is the foundation for industrial development.”
The EVC explained why it has decided to assist Nasarawa State University.
He added: “As part of our identification and collaboration with the programmes and projects of His Excellency, Governor A. A. Sule in capacity building and employment generation of which Technical and Vocational Education and the establishment of Engineering Faculty at this university are components, Delorenzo obliged our request and are here today to donate vital Engineering Laboratory equipment and training towards meeting requirement of the university. I believe this also marks the beginning of collaboration of Nasarawa State University with De Lorenzo and its affiliated universities in Italy.
“NASENI is emulating De Lorenzo and will be donating its own equipment as soon as its order arrives and on completion of manufacturing its local component at NASENI Institutes.
“The agency has since linked the university with Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada for assistance and collaboration and is encouraging its allies worldwide to partner with Nasarawa State University Keffi.
“We will also volunteer NASENl’s professors and experts to support the University’s engineering courses on visiting terms to meet manpower requirement for the takeoff of engineering programmes.
“This is within the mandate of NASENI to ensure that science and technology flourishes everywhere in the country, wherever we see the opportunity to harness towards capacity building and training.
“What is lacking in our engineering and technology trainings is the equipment. Once we have the equipment, training will be enhanced.
The Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule said the collaboration is in line with his administration’s objective of skills acquisition and vocational education in the state.
He said, “We thank you for this worthy partnership, I trust that the collaboration will be sustained towards the achievement of the ultimate objective of this administration which is skill acquisition, vocational education and technical education.”
“I call on NASENI and other development partners to partner with the state for us to actualize our objective for the advancement of our state and Nigeria.”
The Chief Executive Officer of De Lorenzo SPA Italy, Dr. Matteo Prosperi said, “We wish to support this university by giving them these products of European and United States standard quality to improve the standard of education of the state.
“The equipment supplied are related to telecommunications, automation, electronics and electricity. These equipment will support trainers to teach students not only by telling but by practice of seeing the effects of what they study in their books.
“Today is the beginning of this collaboration, we are looking forward to creating a Memorandum of Understanding with the university to exchange not only products because the product is only the first part of what we can do but also to exchange know-how through De Lorenzo academy in Italy to train the trainers.”