The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure is a key agency in the scheme of things in our country. NASENI was established in 1992 by the Federal Government on the recommendations of the White Paper Committee on the 1991 Report of a 150 member National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure comprising Scientists, Engineers, Administrators, Federal and State Civil Servants, Economists, Lawyers, Bankers and Industrialists.
The agency plays a central role in ensuring technology transfer to Nigeria from around the world, and achieving successful commercialization of the agency’s research and innovation.
On September 2, 2023, President Tinubu appointed a young, Halilu Khalil to head the agency. By this appointment, Khalil S Halilu will serve for an initial term of five years by the relevant sections of the NASENI Act, 2014.
Halilu, 32, is expected to bring his significant experience as an innovator and technology expert to bear in this important new national assignment.
Khalil’s appointment took a surprising turn in Nigeria’s political scene, where the old hustle for positions just as his. President Bola Tinubu, relieved Dr. Bashir Gwandu of his duties as the Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, putting in young Khalil Suleiman Halilu, who, at just 32 years old, assumes this crucial role.
The Federal Government established the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure in 1992. As the only organisation in Nigeria created specifically to carry out manufacturing development work, NASENI is to coordinate the spread of technologies developed either inside or outside of its Centres, including acquired patents.
Born in Kano State, Nigeria on October 29, 1990, Khalil Suleiman Halilu is the oldest of five children. He started his secondary school career at St. Thomas Catholic School in 2001–2003 after attending Rainbow Primary School in Kano from 1996–2006. He finished his studies at Prime College in Kano.
Halilu attended the University of Hertfordshire immediately after graduating from secondary school. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in 2009 and a Master of Science in International Business in 2010.
He began his working career as an administrative assistant at Archimode & Associates soon after graduation. His career path took a surprising turn when he took over as Marketing Manager at Gongoni Company Limited, the family business where his father, Alhaji Abdullahi Halilu, was one of the directors. As a subsidiary of Scirocco International Limited, which focuses on producing tea and cold beverages, Gongoni is able to take advantage of efficiencies gained through vertical integration.
Halilu has always been interested in finding innovative methods to help businesses succeed via the use of technology and information systems.
He established a non-profit organisation, Centre for Civic, Welfare, and Community Development (otherwise known as CWCD Africa) in 2018 with the goal of addressing pressing societal issues such as health care, education, the environment, and global warming. Other areas of interest also include welfare for refugees, migrants, and the internally displaced persons, as well as sustainability and inclusive development.
Halilu oversaw the release of another CWCD product, the Zabe mobile app, which played a pivotal role in the 2019 general elections. The Zabe App is an attempt to decentralise electoral transparency and expand democratic participation. Zabe.ng was developed as an election monitoring software that can keep voters up to date with real-time information to further verify that the procedures in the election were fair and reliable.
He has a wide range of interests, with golf and polo being two of his favourites. He is a member of the Abuja Polo Club, Nigerian Polo Association, Lagos Polo Club, and Kano Golf Club.
No doubt, with his young mind, Halilu will ensure the mandate of NASENI, specifically in the area of Capital goods, research, production and reverse engineering.
NASENI, by its mandate and scope of operation is the Nigerian only purpose built Agency designed to conduct developmental work in the areas of manufacturing and as such, it is capable of coordinating the proliferation of technologies developed either within or outside of its Centers including patents obtained. Technologies developed in the areas of spares, components and systems engineering are to be transferred to Entrepreneurs for the production of goods and services. Nigeria can have the benefit of a rapid technological development by strengthening NASENI.
Halilu will carry on with the mission of NASENI, to establish and nurture appropriate and dynamic Science and Engineering Infrastructure-base for achieving home-initiated and home-sustained industrialization through the development of relevant processes, capital goods and equipment necessary for job creation, national economic well-being and progress.
His vision is, therefore, set to create an enabling knowledge-driven environment for local mass-production of standard parts, goods and services required for the Nation’s Technology Advancement.
After he received briefs from the staffers of NASENI, Halilu reiterated that the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) will run an open-door system that welcomes ideas and suggestions under his watch.
Olamide Adeniji is a member of the editorial team of TheScript Newspaper