Research & Development Hajia Shehu Tijani Abdullahi; CEO Amal Technologies, Mr. Shehu Tijani Abdullahi; Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr. Ayodele Olawande; Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Aleke and Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe performing the commissioning of Amal Technologies Gas Leak Detection and Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing Facility at Idu Industrial Layout, Abuja on Thursday.
FG Records Breakthrough in Oil and Gas R&D, Commissions Gas Leak Detection Device, Printed Circuit Board Facility
The Federal Government through the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) on Thursday marked a breakthrough in the research and development landscape of the Nigerian oil and gas industry with the commissioning of Amal Technologies Gas Leak Detection Device and Printed Circuit Board Manufacturing Facility at Idu, Abuja.
The commissioning was performed by the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mr. Dele Aleke, the Minister of State for Youth Development, Mr. Ayodele Olawande and the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe.
The project was initiated by Amal Technologies Ltd and it received financial and institutional support from the NCDMB, then under the leadership of the immediate past Executive Secretary, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, who spearheaded the Research and Development roadmap as a key element of Nigerian Content development in the oil and gas industry.
In his remarks at the ceremony, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri described the commissioning as a significant landmark in the nation’s quest to promote a research culture through the nurturing of innovation-driven startup companies, adding that it represents a breakthrough in local manufacturing of electronic circuitry and devices.
Represented by the Director Upstream in the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Engr. Kamoru Busari, the Minister noted that Amal Technologies was one of the proposals that have benefited from the NCDMB Research and Innovation intervention.
He indicated that the innovation adopted the Internet of Things (IOT) technology to introduce into the market a device that generates a short message system (SMS) and calls on the phones of homeowners in the event of a gas leak.
The facility equally has the capability for Printed Circuit Board (PCB) manufacturing, he added. The Minister noted that the deployment of the gas leak detection device provided a significant safety tool that will accelerate the adoption of gas as a preferred source of energy for homes, transportation, and industry.
He further pointed out that the job creation potential of Amal Technologies is critical to the creation of a circular economy and aligns with Mr. President’s 8-point agenda for economic recovery.In his keynote address, the Executive Secretary NCDMB, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe stated that the smart gas leak detector research was just a proposal submitted to the Board in 2018.
He stated that “the idea was nurtured through the NCDMB incubation process hosted in the Board’s Technology Innovation and Incubation Center (TIIC). He affirmed that “the recurring menace of gas leaks and explosions leading to heavy losses in human lives, property damage, and pollution of the environment is the problem statement that the device seeks to address.”
According to the Executive Secretary, Nigeria’s development priorities were trending towards gas-based industrialization with an exponential increase in gas utilization, hence it had become compelling to deploy safety and preventive tools such as the Amal smart gas leak detection to ensure the safety of lives and properties as the citizens embrace gas usage.
Dwelling on PCB Manufacturing, the NCDMB’s new boss mentioned that electronics accounted for the largest online spending in Nigeria in 2022 and the Amal technology facility will provide the springboard for the replacement of imported PCBs with locally produced PCBs, in line with the Board’s vision to be the catalyst for the industrialization of the Nigerian economy and its linkage sectors.
“The facility will also generate employment opportunities, pay due taxes, and provide a critical platform for instrumentation and electronics-related Research and development,” he said. On why the Board invested in Amal Technologies, he explained that NCDMB had developed a strategic roadmap and focussed on the establishment of dedicated funds to support Research, the inauguration of the Nigerian Content Research Council & Technical Advisory Board, and the establishment of Research centers of Excellence among others.
The need to focus on research commercialization, he added, is amplified in the NCDMB Technology Innovation and Incubation policy, which created the TIIC inside the Nigerian Content Towers Yenagoa.
The Chief Executive Officer of Amal Technologies, Mr. Shehu Tijani Abdullahi recalled how he secured the Board’s support for the project without having any prior relationship with any member of the agency’s management.
He affirmed that “the NCDMB is not about having connections or knowing someone at the top. It is about a team of people that are dedicated to the success and progress of local content in Nigeria. Their firmness and dedication to local content continue to give me hope for the country of Nigeria.”
He noted that Amal Technologies had in three years, secured two patents and disrupted traditional approaches to research and development, expressing hope that with the full support of NCDMB, the company would make lasting contributions to various sectors of the economy, including oil and gas, power, agriculture, and beyond.Beyond producing the Gas Detection device, the chief executive confirmed that the “facility has the capacity to produce over two million Advanced Smart Electric Meters— a significant contribution to the federal government’s National Mass Metering Program (NMMP).
This initiative aligns with the company’s commitment to address the current challenges in electrical metering in Nigeria and supporting the government’s efforts to ensure a reliable and efficient power supply.”
He also stated that the facility holds immense potential for other sectors, including automobile manufacturing, medical advancements, telecommunications, agriculture, and more.
In his comments, the Director, Monitoring and Evaluation at the NCDMB, Alhalji Abdulmalik Halilu remarked that the Board subjected the innovation to detailed regulatory processes and proof-of-concept checks before deciding to take equity in the project.
He mentioned that the business case showed that the facility had the potential to create over 400 jobs, from the conception to production stages and its annual turnover prospects is about N9.3bn. He confirmed that the project’s structure is sustainable and consistent, hinting that the Board soon would be unveiling similar innovations that it had incubated.