No fewer than 56 inventors yesterday received grants from the 2016 Presidential Standing Committee on Inventions and Innovations (PSCII).
Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, who handed out cheques to the beneficiaries, said the funds were meant to empower them to improve, mass-produce, commercialise their products where necessary and register the patents.
The minister noted that government undertook the initiative because success would lead to the development of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs), which in turn would enhance job and wealth creation in the country.
He urged the beneficiaries to deploy the grants to improve on their creativity, inventiveness and innovation, warning that the ministry would monitor how the funds were being used.
Onu expressed the optimism that the level of funding to inventors would be raised when the National Research and Innovation Council eventually becomes operational.
According to him, the 56 inventors were painstakingly selected from over 400 applications, after authenticating their claims.
One of the inventors received N10 million, and two others got N5 million and N4 million, respectively, while 53 others were given N1 million each.
Daily Sun gathered that 188 candidates from across the country had benefited from the programme since its inception in 2005. The highest beneficiary, Dr. Ezekiel Izuogu, thanked government for the recognition as, according to him, “what matters is not how much but the idea behind the grants.”
Izuogu, who claimed that his invention, Emagnetodynamics machine, has the capacity to power vehicles without fuel and offer uninterrupted power supply, among other things, said that it has been patented in 139 countries.
In another development, Onu restated government’s commitment to ensuring safe and clean environment.
The minister, who spoke in Abuja while receiving the Ambassador of Ecuador to Nigeria, Mr. Leapoldo Verdeso, remarked that “the clean-up of the Niger Delta area is very important to this administration and we are committed to ensure that mangrove forest are restored and our people have access to clean water that are around them.”
Noting the importance of space technology is the security surveillance of oil installations, Onu thanked Ecuador for offering to assist Nigeria in the area.
He also said that partnership between both countries would reduce food wastage and make food available all year round in Nigeria.
“We work closely with Federal Ministry of Environment to preserve our environment and reduce poverty” he stated.
Verdeso told the minister that his country was interested in sharing methodology on how to detect oil spills using satellite images and knowledge on agricultural research.
He said: “We have research institute in the same field, we are in the same tropical zone, we have scientists that have developed methodology on how to localize oil spills and pollution of hydrocarbon to satellite images.”
Magnus Eze – The Sunnews