The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has charged universities, tertiary and research institutions to intensify research and development in critical areas of science for positive impact on Nigerians.
This is contained in a statement issued by Blessing Ezeala of the Press and Public Relations of the ministry recently in Abuja.
The minister gave the charge when he visited the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) to inspect the Made-in-Nigeria 500 KVA Gasification Plant, manufactured from organic waste for electric power generation.
Onu, who commended the innovation, said it came at a time when Nigeria was in the process of actualising its dream of being an industrialised nation.
He said that he was convinced that in future, the innovation would be patronised by individuals, industries and the Organised Private Sector, among others.
The minister advocated for the innovation to be inculcated into Schools of Engineering curriculum with the hope that it would improve youthful participation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) entrepreneurship.
“I encourage the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams of students to focus on generating electricity for off-grid and under-served locations in the country.
“This will attract many youths as entrepreneurs in the energy sector,’’ he said.
The minister further said that his ministry would cooperate with the university on its achievement, with the hope that the innovation would be of great value to the nation.
Earlier, Prof. Charles Igwe, UNN Vice Chancellor, solicited support of the Federal Government to enable the university to commercialise the innovation.
The director and team leader of the innovation, Prof. Emenike Ejiogu, also said that the invention was researched and manufactured in Nigeria with all the raw materials locally sourced.
He disclosed that the gasification technology was the conversion of organic solid waste to gas which could be used to generate power.
RSPHB Hails Rotary Over Maternal Health Support
The Rivers State Primary Health Board has commended Rotary Club International District 9141 for the donation of fetal Doppler, ultrasound scanner and Incubator to Oyibo Comprehensive Health Centre.
The agency’s medical health representative for Oyibo, Dr. Victoria Ewoh, said the equipment will reduce maternal mortality and complement government effort in boosting healthcare at the grassroots.
She described rotary as a foremost charity organization poised to improve community wellbeing and healthcare delivery.
The equipment, she further assured will be utilized to touch the lives of mothers and children, noting that state government is doing all in it powers to improve on health care delivery in the communities, “ I can assure you that there will be reduction of fetal deaths with these equipments”, she added.
While unveiling the facilities, District Governor of Rotary International District 9141, Mightyman Aye Dikuro said the donation forms part of Rotary mission to advance world, understanding, goodwill, peace and improvement of health, including support for education and alleviation of poverty.
This objective he explained is imbedded in activities of the club all over the world to uplift communities and transform lives.
Aye Dikuro assured that Rotary is ready to partner government in the district which covers Rivers, Bayelsa , Delta and Edo States in reducing health challenges, as he urged the community to ensure they protect the equipment and sustain more projects.
On his part, Chairman of Committee of the clubs that embarked on the project, Timi Bubagha, said the donation was borne out of needs assessment done by the club in the area, as it discovered that that there is need for improved maternal health.
Mr. Bubagha who is the President of Rotary Club Garden City added that the clubs are poised to do more for communities, and urged the officials and community to ensure the items are put to good use.
Community leader and member of Oyibo Chiefs Council, Chief Precious Emeruka lauded Rotary for the donation, as he described it a dream come for the community.
Chief Emeruka praised the State Government for endorsing Rotary Project, and assured that the community would ensure that the items were utilized and secured.
NITDA’s N12bn Project Will Enhance Start-Up Act Implementation – FG
The Federal Government said the N12 billion project of the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) would boost the implementation of the Nigerian Start-Up Act 2022 (NSA).
Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof Isa Pantami, said this at the inspection of the ongoing Digital Innovation and Entrepreneurship Centre implemented by NITDA in Abuja recently.
The projects were two buildings inter-connected, one of which would serve as the actual Digital Innovation Entrepreneurship Centre and the second as NITDA headquarters.
Pantami said it is the responsibility of government executives to ensure that any approval by FEC under their supervision is implemented according to the agreement.
“When it comes to capacity, the rooms, the offices, the training centres, all these are in alignment with what the FEC approved twice on November 11, 2020 and April 5, 2021.
“There are several ways our citizens are going to benefit. We have the NSA 2022, an Executive Bill by this administration”, he said.
Pantami added that the building would further consolidate on economic diversification, for which the sector already laid the foundation of contributing 18.44 per cent to the Gross Domestic Product of the country.
The Minister said the project was approved and projected to be completed in 36 months from the date of approval in November 2020.
Pantami also said N9.56 billion was approved on November 11, 2020, with VAT and other taxes included.
VP Wants National Innovation Ecosystem Rebranding
Vice-President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, has called for the reappraisal and rebranding of the national innovation ecosystem to drive technological and socio-economic development in the country.
Osinbajo made the call at the opening of a two-day National Innovation Workshop at the International Convention Centre, in Awka, Anambra State recently.
The workshop, tagged “Promotion of Inventors of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI)”, was organised by the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, and the Nigerian Institute of Science Laboratory Technology.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Minister of State, Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Chief Henry Ikoh, said the workshop would offer Nigeria an opportunity to reappraise and rebrand its ecosystem.
“This will be with emphasis on technology and entrepreneurship.The way to go to bridge the gap between the poor and the rich is through thinking out of the box, innovation and commercialisation of thoughts.
“Nigeria will be great again only when we begin to shift our emphasis from consumer nation to production, and we need innovation to produce”, he said.
Also speaking, Anambra State Governor, Chukwuma Soludo, said there was the need for a national policy to promote STI, saying, it is the new way of life.
“Without STI, nothing happens. In Anambra, we recognised this fact and we have been taking proactive measures to make Anambra the home of talents for STI in the country.
“We need to replicate same across the country by having a legislative framework to mainstream STI in our schools to catch them young.
“The policy will also mandate Nigerians and the Nigerian government to promote indigenous inventors and innovators by patronising them. If they innovate and invent, and nobody patronises them, their ideas will die,” he said.
In his lecture, Sen. Anyim Pius Anyim, former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there was an urgent need to draw attention and to prepare the country for the fourth industrial revolution.
“Human race is in transition in a dimension of technological revolution which will affect the way we live, work and relate, and so we must prepare and adjust the way we think.
“In a short while from now, talents and innovation are going to be the only dependable capital assets. As a nation, we need a legislative agenda to harness our available human resources.
“We need to groom and nurture Nigerian youths into the path of science, technology and innovation to key into the opportunities.The fourth industrial revolution will present and place our economy on a sustainable path for growth,” he said.
In her remarks, Sen. Uche Ekwunife, Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, said the workshop was to connect innovators, inventors, academia, policy makers, entrepreneurs, tech companies and students from across the country.
The programme featured demonstration sessions, prize funds to outstanding innovation and award presentation to best Nigerian inventor.
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