At a ceremony attended by Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON) on Thursday, October 19, 2023, on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in Beijing, China, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and new Chinese partners signed three (3) memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) for new projects valued at $2 billion.
The three Chinese companies that signed MoUs to partner with NASENI and invest in Nigeria include Shanghai Launch Automotive Technical Co Ltd – an MOU to establish a new energy automobile facility for the production of new energy electric vehicles.
Others are: China Great Wall Industry Corporation- an MOU for the turnkey delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) assembly line projects; and Newway Power Technology Company Ltd – an MOU for the transfer of technology on lithium batteries, electric vehicles and allied technologies.
In addition to the MOUs, 10 Chinese firms also presented Letters of Intent to the Vice President, indicating strong interest in partnering with NASENI to invest in and develop various technology and industrial innovation projects, collectively valued at $4 billion, covering energy (solar, natural gas, microgrids), vehicle production, training and technology transfer, drone technology, and the development of a new industrial park.
Speaking at the ceremony, Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NASENI, Mr. Khalil Halilu, who signed the agreements on behalf of NASENI, said: “This is a very important day for us at the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, because it is a day to show the results of some of the work that we have been doing in the last six weeks since I assumed the leadership of NASENI.”
He added: “Collectively, these three MoUs will, upon implementation, deliver $2 billion worth of new investments in Nigeria; that will translate into jobs, skills development and technology transfer, potential exports and foreign exchange earnings, and a boost to local economies.”
The NASENI EVC/CEO described the MoUs and the Letters of Intent as “early fruits of the diligent work of the new NASENI, an institution that we are reforming and building around the core principles of Collaboration, Creation and Commercialization.
He added that “we see this as a chain: we forge partnerships with willing and committed partners, at home and abroad; on the basis of these partnerships, we create and co-create new products and innovation; and then we ensure that these products are taken to market in a commercially viable and profitable manner.”
He stressed that the Agency will “work very hard to transform them into commercially viable products, that will drive the industrialization, development, and prosperity of Nigeria”, adding that “Innovation is not meant for the shelves, or the archives. It should translate into usable products. This is our belief, and one of our driving principles at NASENI.”
Halilu expressed gratitude to His Excellency, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR), who is the Chairman of the Governing Board of NASENI, as well as Vice President Kashim Shettima (GCON), for the immense support and encouragement that they have provided to him and to the Agency, pledging that the confidence they have reposed in him will not be misplaced.
The Chinese companies that submitted Letters of Intent to Vice President Shettima are TBEA (solar products); DongFeng Vehicles Co. (vehicle design and production), HiLong Energy (CNG, LNG, methanol); China State Construction Company (building technology and materials); CIMC (natural gas infrastructure delivery).
Others are: Value Platform International Services Ltd (vocational training); Acadia Technologies (Shenzhen) Co. Ltd. (smart grids and microgrids); Space Star Technology (Drone technology transfer); ENRIC (clean energy utilization technology); and Hidier Group (development of new industrial park).