Onu Urges innovators to Explore Human,material resources to Trigger Development

By Joy Kaka

Abuja – The Minister of Science and Technology (FMST), Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, has urged innovators to explore and exploit the abundant human and material resources in the country to trigger development and reduce dependence on imported goods and services.

Onu gave the advice at the Grants Award Ceremony of the Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovation (PSCII) on Monday in Abuja.He said despite Nigeria being  well endowed with natural resources, it had been unable to effectively exploit its enormous  resources to meet the nations needs.

He said Nigeria had essentially been a consumer nation that imports most of her needs thus making the economy vulnerable to external shocks occasioned by the vagaries of changes in prices in the international oil market.” We decided that this should not continue, we are happy that with policies put in place, things are gradually changing,” he said.

He further said the current economic reality had made the need for diversification of the economy more relevant in order to stimulate an impressive socio-economic development of the country.He  said the strategy entailed broadening the range of economic activities in production and distribution of goods and services which should be viewed from the perspective of sustainable development to ensure long-term stability of the economy.

Onu said the beneficiaries  of the PSCII Grant had been selected to help them achieve sustainable diversification programme.” Inventions and innovations are essential drivers of economic progress that benefit consumers, businesses and the economy as a whole, ” he said.

He further disclosed that FMST had recently inaugurated a standing committee saddled with the responsibility  of commercialising viable Research and Development results to help create new jobs , wealth and self reliance in areas of National life.

He, however, urged the beneficiaries of PSCII to make judicious use of the Grants given to upgrade their inventions and innovations and work hard to commercialize.In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, FMST, Mr Bitrus Nabasu said 512 applications were received across the six geo- political zones in Nigeria, after due advertisement.” Members of the PSCII embarked on a verification exercise to assess the applications after which the Technical Sub-Committee (TSC) screened and selected beneficiaries.

” A total of 126 inventors and innovators were selected for the PSCII Grant Award in the  total sum of N81, 500, 000 which will be given to these inventors who have shown exceptional ingenuity, ” he said.Nabasu said the objective of the PSCII is to provide a solid foundation for technological breakthrough in Nigeria and would lead to commercialisation of indigenous inventions and innovations.

He also urged the beneficiaries to utilise the grants judiciously in order to make positive impact on their various inventions, adding that spending of the funds would be monitored.Earlier, Dr John Uket, Principal Scientific Officer, FMST disclosed that the 126 beneficiaries of the PSCII Grant were shared into categories in the sum of N10 million, N5 million, N2 million and N1 million. 

Among the beneficiaries are Prof. Alfred Susu an Emeritus Professor of science from the University of Lagos working on a Biometrical Device for pain management in Sickle cell patients.Mr Isogon Kizito , Consultant Herbalist who invented an Eyedrop and Eye lid cream to fight infections is also a beneficiary of the grant.The PSCII was set up in October, 2005 to encourage and promote inventions and innovations in the formal and informal sectors of Nigerian economy.


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