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BRI 2023: NASENI, Chinese firms ink MoUs as Nigeria receives Letters of Intent for $2bn investments

Mr. Khalil Halilu, Executive Vice-Chairman and CEO of NASENI (r) with a Chinese Official at the BRI Forum in Beijing, China Photo: NASENI

*Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure discloses 10 Chinese firms, on the sidelines of the 3rd Belt and Road Initiative forum in Beijing, have presented Letters of Intent collectively valued at $4 billion to Vice-President Kashim Shettima to partner with the agency to invest and develop various technology and industrial innovation projects

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and new Chinese partners Thursday, October 29, 2023, signed three Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) for new projects valued at $2 billion in Beijing, China.

The Nigerian regulatory agency and the Chinese companies sealed the deal at a ceremony Vice-President Kashim Shettima (GCON) attended  Thursday on the sidelines of the third Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) Forum in Beijing.

Mr. Segun Ayeoyenikan, Director of Information at NASENI, in a statement, disclosed the three Chinese companies that signed MoUs to partner with NASENI and invest in Nigeria include Shanghai Launch Automotive Technical Co Limited – an MoU to establish a new energy automobile facility for the production of new energy electric vehicles.

The agency listed others as China Great Wall Industry Corporation – an MoU for the turnkey delivery of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) assembly line projects; and Newway Power Technology Company Limited – an MoU for the transfer of technology on lithium batteries, electric vehicles and allied technologies respectively.

Besides the MoUs, the NASENI Director of Information noted the 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.

NASENI stated that the Letters of Intent as well covered energy (solar, natural gas, microgrids), vehicle production, training and technology transfer, drone technology, and the development of a new industrial park in Nigeria.

Speaking at the ceremony, Mr. Khalil Halilu, Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO) of NASENI, 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.”

Halilu stated: “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 Commercialisation.”

He equally stressed “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.”

According to Halilu, the regulatory agency will “work very hard to transform them into commercially viable products, that will drive the industrialidation, development, and prosperity of Nigeria.”

The Executive Vice-Chairman noted: “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 Shettima 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.

Similarly, the agency said 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).

It mentioned others as Value Platform International Services Limited (vocational training); Acadia Technologies (Shenzhen) Co. Limited (smart grids and microgrids); Space Star Technology (Drone technology transfer); ENRIC (clean energy utilisation technology); and Hidier Group (development of new industrial park).

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