UNILAG VC institutes innovation challenge for Nigerian varsity students

All is set to hold at the grand finale of the maiden edition of Professor Ogundipe Innovation Challenge (POIC) where three finalists with best creative and workable scientific ideas to solve societal problems will be rewarded with a sum of N1 million each.

POIC is an initiative of the Vice-Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Akoka, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, as part of his humanitarian activities towards national growth and development and it is open to all Nigerian university students at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, nationwide.

The vice-chancellor, who made this know, on Wednesday, in Lagos, to newsmen ahead of the grand finale, which is billed for Tuesday, September 3rd, at Jelili Omotola Halls, UNILAG, said, he instituted the competition to encourage and support scientific creativities and ideas among university students that can help to solve the country’s problems in agriculture, oil and gas, information and communication technology, computer, medicine and other related fields.

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According to him, it is time for every Nigerian who desires positive socio-economic change to take a bold step and contribute in a way possible to tackle the myriads of social, economic and environmental problems confronting the country.

Ogundipe, a professor of botany, who was represented at the event by the Dean, Faculty of Science, UNILAG, Professor Adedotun Adekunle, explained that the annual competition is designed to identify and give necessary support to Nigerian young entrepreneurs right from schools and make them globally relevant and competitive in their chosen fields.

He, however, urged companies, captains of industry and philanthropist individuals to share with, and support the vision for societal advancement.

Speaking on the competition, the chairperson of POIC committee, Dr Kehinde Kemabonta, said no fewer than 500 students from across Nigeria applied for this first edition and that the number was pruned down to 25 and later 11, out of which three would emerge as winners at the grand finale event.

She noted that the entries submitted as either an individual or group and from students from different universities including University of Portharcourt (UNIPORT), Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), UNILAG, and the University of Benin (UNIBEN), among others were adjudged by independent jurists from members of academic in and outside UNILAG, professional bodies and captains of industry.

She said the winners of the annual competition would be mentored by experts in their chosen areas for the purpose of changing their ideas to commercial and profitable ventures.

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