An irritating and resentful character of leaders in executive positions in Nigeria is to ridicule and despise Nigerians or politicians in rival political camps. For successor Presidents, their first official action in office is always to vengefully sack appointees of the preceding government.
Little attention is paid to commitment and performance in office. The only offence aligned to them, which leads to the callous depravity of an opportunity to serve their fatherland, is their affiliation to a party which has just been ousted from power. And a thoughtless President sometimes go to extremes by terminating appointments held by Nigerians whose tenure is statutorily fixed for no logical reasons.
But President Muhammadu Buhari has broken this spell. His demonstrable tolerance, endorsement and readiness to work with every Nigerian who has proven himself competent, incorruptible and dedicated to his official responsibilities is legendary.
Every Nigerian can attest, President Buhari retained and worked with even the cabinet appointees he inherited from his predecessor, former President Goodluck Jonathan for months before they were thankfully relieved of their appointments’.
Just a few weeks back, President Buhari admitted he was inundated with secret requests, advices and counsels from lobbyists to terminate the appointment of Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Mr. Godwin Emefiele. Instead, he overlooked the pressure mounted on him, by refusing to acquiesced to desires of partisan lobbyists. Mr. Emefiele was appointed by GEJ.
Buhari premised his refusal to sack Emefiele on his desire to sustain service to humanity, by allowing the CBN boss complete the healing process of the economy, Nigerians knew drifted into recession before the Buhari Presidency. He is more enthusiastic about healing the economy than pursuing partisan interests. To him, genuine leadership is unbowed by any sentiment whether party affinity; but about the progress of Nigeria.
And the President’s mindset on such issues has not been adulterated so long as the appointee satisfies his yearning of service to Nigerians and humanity. So, he has re-appointed the Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, (NASENI) Prof. Engr. Mohammed Sani Haruna.
The NASENI boss regaled in this special Presidential honour and recognition for hard work alongside five other heads Chief Executive Officers of Federal Agencies. It’s an exceptional conviction from a President whose first and last commitment is for the advancement of Nigeria.
Prof. Haruna’s leadership odyssey at NASENI also started under GEJ in 2012 in acting capacity , and his appointment was subsequently confirmed in 2013. He met an otherwise vibrant agency in the morgue and its mandate, which was tailored to drive the science and technological needs of Nigeria’s national development in all sectors of the economy were immersed in politics and submerged in bureaucratic strangulations.
Lack of a focused and foresighted leadership of NASENI compounded the problem and tactically deleted the agency’s name on the list of the over over 500 federal agencies in the country.
And rather than perceive it as a setback, Prof, Haruna, saw it as a surmountable challenge. He laid out his working framework and set out to work, deploying and judiciously applying the meagre budgetary votes to the agency for maximum results.
And in the last five years, Prof. Haruna has practically dragged NASENI from its obscurity to an agency that has earned itself national fame by rare indigenous technological innovations and products in major sectors of the economy.
A rundown of his achievements at NASENI in his first tenure spreads a score-sheet, which impresses his predecessors, staff and Nigerians. In transport, medicine, education, agriculture, water and power generation and supply, among others, the agency has displayed Nigeria’s science and technological endowments and competence. It has deposited enduring legacies for national development, which were hitherto mere dreams in the quest to fulfill the mandate of the agency.
It is unarguable that Nigeria imports all its automobiles and allied subsidiaries. But NASENI has superlatively invaded the transport sector by developing Nigeria’s first indigenous passenger vehicles and cargo tricycles. They are suitable and affordable for rural dwellers and low income earners.
The agency under Engr. Haruna has also developed Nigeria’s first motorcycle and all the aforementioned technological products have been tested and certified. With enough funds, the agency can mass produce it for domestic usage and export to African countries to earn Nigeria foreign exchange.
Correspondingly, NASENI under Prof, Haruna has broken the age-long myth about indigenous power generation technology. The agency has invented different, but tested and functional models of Small Hydro Power Turbines (SHP) as renewable energy source. The hydro turbines functions when either connected to the main grid or independently serve as a stand-alone/off-grid mode and they are working in some parts of the country.
Likewise, the agricultural sector has recorded inspiring improvements in the direction of President Buhari’s preachments on diversifying the economy through agriculture. NASENI under Haruna has invented and developed durable and efficient deep-well hand pumps model 3 and 4 for water solution.
Its reversed engineering drilling rig heads is already in use at the National Water Research Institute (NWRI), Kaduna, while it is in foreign partnership to expand the building of water drilling rigs in Nigeria. NASENI has sent into the markets deep-water well pumps and centrifugal pumps for irrigation purposes.
Nigerian farmers are now enjoying designed and developed crop threshers and harvesters. It’s being a harvest of easy working tools for farmers as table-top seed oil mill for extracting oil from seeds, like groundnut, cashew, palm kernel and others are already in use. Much as functional mobile cassava graters, rotary dryer and cassava chipping machine for Garri processing. Nigerian fish farmers are now using solar dryers and mobile fish smokers for drying or smoking of fish.
The NASENI’s boss has pioneered, designed, produced and tested multi-purpose Agricultural-Based Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (AB – UAV), to lessen the burden of dispensing herbicides or pesticides in farmlands among other uses.
Under Prof. Haruna, NASENI’s shadows are registered in capacity and human resources development in some Nigerian universities. It has sponsored the development of human and intellectual resources chattels. Disciplines seriously affected include Advanced Manufacturing Technologies, Nano-technology, and Advanced Materials Development of Virtual Manufacturing Laboratory.
And in partnership organizations’ and institutions, NASENI’s initiatives have provided state of the art hardware, software and intellectual capacity for design, engineering simulation, and computer modeling of engineering processes, plants, machinery, and spares parts. It’s the first the Nigeria ever experienced.
Prof. Haruna’s achievements’ in NASENI are inexhaustible. His good works at the agency were too glaring to ignore, as attested by staff of the agency who prayed day and night for his reappointment. Both staff and colleagues’ of the result-oriented NASENI boss, Prof. Haruna have loudly attested to his leadership efficacy, focus, uprightness, teamwork and incorruptibility. He has proven and demonstrated repeatedly to be a round peg in a round hole.
Therefore, it was not a surprise that President Buhari proved his love and passion for leaders at the lower rung, with his penchant and disposition of service to humanity by the renewal of Prof. Haruna’s appointment as the Executive Vice Chairman of NASENI.
Haruna never lobbied for a second term, but his works and exemplary leadership, positively betrayed and fished him out. And a positive leader like President Buhari keenly interested in merit and excellence scanned him from the motley of appointees and decided to renew his mandate.
Frankly and in all fairness, Prof. Haruna truly deserves the renewal of his tenure at NASENI. He has performed splendidly and Nigerians hopes to see the best of his best, in a manner that would belittle achievements’ of his first term. It behooves on Haruna never to betray this presidential trust in service to Nigerians.
Indeed, President Buhari deserves some accolades for rewarding a subordinate who demonstrates his leadership traits. It’s a rare bolster from a Nigerian President.
Abiodun is a public affairs commentator, writing from Ibadan.