…calls for patronage of Local products
The first Innovation and creativity exhibition fair organised by the Nigerian Society of Engineers, NSE, Ikeja Branch may have come and gone. What is however indelible in the memories of attendees are the many potentials the event thrown up. All prototypes are capable of adding to our entrepreneurial space and create employment for our youths if properly harnessed and supported.
Tagged: “Inno-Creativ fair 2019,” the week-long event covering training, presentations and exhibitions of various products, finally come to end at the grand finale which held at Olu Awoyinfa conference Hall of the secretariat.Guests and dignitaries were captivated by talents and presentations of different participants.
Prior to the grand finale, distinguished lecturers and professionals have taken turn to impact knowledge on the participants. Among them are Prof Musa Aibinu, Engr Nimot Muili, Engr Idris Oladele Muniru among others.
In her address, the chair of the Branch, Engr Funmi Akingbagbohun said that the branch has concluded plan to support some of the innovations, as organisations have been invited to support those that are very promising.
She commended the participants and enthused that their prototypes are capable of playing significant roles in solving some of the problems in the society. She also encouraged some of them to scale-up and commercialize their prototype. While some will need improvement to enable them become more competitive and marketable.
Engr. Tosin Ogunmola the chairman of the event planning committee said the theme of the fair ”Connecting the Innovators to the industry…’’ was carefully chosen.
Speaking at the event, he said: ‘We have seen that over the years, from our schools, we continue to fabricate projects every year: those projects/prototypes remain in the workshops and laboratories in our schools. Meanwhile the industries continue to demand a number of those machines, which unfortunately has be imported.
“We are importing products we have capacity to build and develop. ” he lamented. He added that this can be addressed if we support the innovators.The fair therefore, is to allow innovators, showcase their prototypes and brings them in contact with potential investors and collaborators who will transform them to commercial products. Thereby leading to growth in other areas in the economy.
Engr Tosin advised innovators not to be discouraged in their efforts and continue to improve on their prototype. They must also look for other networks for collaborations.
The deputy governor of Lagos State, Dr. Obafemi Hamza was represented by the head of ICT Mrs Morenikeji John Agbedeyi. In her speech she commended the Branch’s efforts and foresight in coming up with such laudable program. She said the week-long event has provided a platform to expose our young engineers.
“We are now in a period where our economy can no longer be driven by oil and gas, but through technology and innovation… The goal of creating more jobs, and boosting the economy are all realizable when we create opportunities for young ones to innovate.”
She mentioned that Lagos offers a great potential to experience a robust and economic prosperity for its people via innovation and creativity. She added that Lagos state will work with engineers, young investors, private organizations to open up opportunities for them and constitute the innovation and advisory council. She assured of the continued support and encouragement from Lagos state government, to ensure consistency in organizing such exhibitions as this to boost innovation and talent.
Engr. Tosin Ogunmola announced that this year’s participants will be grouped into class of 2019 on a platform and they will have access to sponsors and potential investors.
On her part, the CEO Lonadek Nigeria limited, Engr. Ibilola Amao lauded the organiser and extolled the qualities of the prototypes on display. She challenged everyone to contribute their input towards achieving a greater Nigeria.
She stated that, “Innovation and creativity translates into ‘innovention’ and innovention is taking an idea into an invention that is bankable, sellable, replicable and applicable.”
“We should look for synergies and collaborations, search for stakeholders that will be interested in the exercise.” She counselled.
Dr Amao, who is renowned as champion of Local Content, used the opportunity to rake her campaign to the gathering by challenging all to “think Nigeria, buy Nigeria” so that they can encourage the young innovators. She advised the innovators to also apply for international grants and competitions and widen their horizons.
On her part, she announced her company’s readiness to support the young innovators in building capacity. “I would like to volunteer on behalf of my company Lonadek oil and gas consultant that we will engage with the entrepreneurs in the area of the institute of industry and management in innovation and entrepreneurship curriculum and we will try to help you, take your ideas to bankable business plans.”
Mr. Adeleke Ligali from the Lagos State office of transformation, creativity and innovation encouraged the participants to build on the experience. He also informed them that proposals sent to the Lagos state government will be attended to.
Engr. Femi Kupolati wondered why millions are spent importing items that can be manufactured in the country. He suggested that more opportunities and provisions should be made for engineers to be productive. He also mentioned that corruption should be killed so innovation can thrive. He called for collaboration in bid to make more advancement. Engr Kupolati then expressed optimism that if we can support local producers, the importation of machine components will reduce by 70% in the next 2 to 3 years.
Certificates of Participation were given to all participants. while special prizes were given to selected prototypes that stood out at the Innov-Creative fair 2019. They are: the calculus Eduaids by the Esther Ajayi led team; ergonomic chair for industrial use by Engr. Edun Bose Mosunmola, multipurpose fruit extractor by the Lagos state polytechnic team; and the Fintter social network by Ayinla Ahmed.
Two companies were recognized for being innovation enablers; one of the leaders Engr. Festus Akinpelu was on hand to received the award for his company. Engr. Tosin Ogunmola, the chairman of the planning community for the fair was commended for the initiative and he in turn thanked everyone that contributed to the success of the event.
Report compiled by Mariam Haruna, from Isqil Najim