By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
A delegation from the Nigeria National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure-NASENI is seeking partnership with local investors to introduce a scientific mobile laboratory that will among other things, ease scientific tests carried out in schools and learning institutions which are in remote locations and hampered by lack of equipment and infrastructure.
The delegation which is in the country to market their innovative solutions was hosted by the Uganda national Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI).
The Nigerian investors said they were keen to partner with local investors to introduce “Lab without walls”, a mobile solution for calibration and testing that is already in use in Nigeria.
The UNCCI president Olive Kigongo welcomed the delegation and reiterated the need for Uganda and indeed Africa to continue pursuing local solutions that will help countries build capacity for scientific studies and research.
“UNCCI will ensure that the investors you choose to work with are reputable,” she said.
Dr. Samuel Wadzani, an innovator from Nigeria introduced the mobile scientific laboratory without walls which he said is designed to tackle the scientific, technical and economic issues in the education sector.
“The laboratory consists of 110 items manufactured from Nigerian Development Institute which can perform at least 42 scientific tests needed in any lab. This project further goes on to positively impact on institutions and schools with students and teachers who are unable to access scientific equipment during laboratory sessions,” said Wadzani.
Wadzani informed the public that Nigeria has more items that can solve more issues facing the small medium enterprises in Uganda.
“We can make the young youths out there to understand the concept of the new products on the inter-twined market,” said Dr. Wadzani.
Chief Michael Awunor from Nigeria’s National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure-NASENI, who led the Nigerian Delegation, noted that the private sector could not succeed without support from the public sector.
Awunor indicated plans of signing a Memorandum of Understanding with UNCCI to allow more business-to-business engagements.
However, Uganda’s High Commissioner to Nigeria, Nelson Ocheger said the trade volumes are low between the two countries, a situation he said needs to change.
Last year’s records show that Uganda exported goods at not worth more than shs23 million to Nigeria.
“The Uganda High Commission’s responsibility to UNCCI is to promote commercial diplomacy, attract foreign direct investment to Uganda and assist with business transactions in countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Cot de Vore, Liberia Sierra Leone, among others. We can survive by doing business in our continent and as the Ugandan High Commission in Nigeria, you have our total support and commitment,” Ocheger echoed.
UNCCI, with an international basis, has had more than 300 MOUs signed with different countries worldwide.
There were 50 business delegates in attendance, both Ugandans and Nigerians coming from the energy, oil, IT, and agro-business sectors.
Uganda and Nigeria have bilateral relations but the trade volumes between the two countries are not so good.
Some of the already existing trade relations with Uganda exporting tobacco, tea, coffee, hides and skins.