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Presidential standing committee disburses N43.5m to 121 innovators

FG reiterates commitment to job creation for Nigerian youths
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu

THE Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII) Grant, on Tuesday, disbursed a sum of N43.5 million to 121 exceptional ingénue Nigerian inventors and innovators as grants to improve on their inventions and innovations with a view to ensuring that their intellectual property is well protected.

Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, who disbursed the funds in Abuja to the beneficiaries, said the Federal Government under the control of President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to fighting and reducing poverty in Nigeria.

He explained that the 121 Nigerians who benefitted from the scheme have distinguished themselves in creativity, inventiveness and innovations, urging them to obtain patents as a way of protecting their intellectual property.

According to him: “if you have any problem in doing so, one of the agencies under the supervision of the Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) can assist you.

The Grant may not be all that you need to improve on your inventions and innovations but it is an important recognition of your creativity, hard work and commitment to the realisation of a dream that you have lived with for a long time”.

Dr Onu said, by transforming their ideas into either a product of a service in the marketplace, this would help to create wealth for both the awardees and the nation, saying that was the only way Nigeria could become more self-reliant by reducing importation of goods and services from other countries.

The minister said that the grant award ceremony was very important in creating entrepreneurs, who in turn could create new jobs and businesses, as this would also help promote economic growth and the diversification of the nation’s economy.

Speaking on the selection, he said after 590 applications were received across all the six geopolitical zones in the country, following an advertisement made in some national dailies last year, the technical sub-committee thereafter selected a total of 121 inventors and investors.

He explained that the awardees were grouped into three categories, where 24 awardees in the first category were given N500, 000 while N400, 000 to N300, 000 would be released to those in the second category.

The minister added that the awardees in the third category were 43 in number with an award grant of between N200, 000 and N250, 000 per awardee.

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Earlier in his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Mr Bitru Bako Nabasu said the PSCII was inaugurated in 2005 by the former President Olusegun Obasanjo to encourage and assist indigenous inventors and innovators that have the uncommon ingenuity that could have the positive impact on the Nigerian economy and Nigerians.

He added that the greatest economy of the world was largely driven by Science, Technology and Innovation (STI), as such Nigeria could not be left behind.

While congratulating the beneficiaries, the PS advised them to utilise the grant judiciously in order to make an impact on their various innovations that would lead to commercialisation of their products.

In his speech, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Professor Robert Ayayi Boroffice said that innovation did not occur in the universities and institutions, adding that individuals that were endowed in the kitchen could come up with innovation that could revolutionise the world.

He further challenged them to see the grant as a challenge to work harder and do more.

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