The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has said the nation’s economy can compete globally if government supports local professionals. The group noted that the global competitiveness of any economy depends on its science, technology and innovation capabilities, and the Nigerian government must support innovators, as innovation is key for the economic development of any nation.

They said this during a weeklong innovative and creative fair organised by NSE Ikeja branch, sponsored by Pilot Science Company Ltd., and EISNL Engineering Solutions & Drive Ltd. The Chairman of NSE Ikeja branch, Funmilade Akingbagbohun, bemoaned the country’s dependence on other countries for infrastructural development.

She said Nigerian engineers have the potential to develop equipment that could solve major challenges in the society with the use of locally available materials. Akingbagbohun said the level of innovation in Nigeria is very low due to lack of sophisticated business community, which poses a threat to economic development.

“The fair is coming up because we identified a huge gap between the grass root and the industry. It is a great shame when we have toothpicks and biros are produced out of Nigeria. These items are they produce by Nigerians that are in other country? That is why we came up with an idea to have an innovation fair where machine components produced by Nigerians can be showcased,” she explained.

The guest speaker, Nimot Muili, urged Nigerian engineers to come up with innovations that will solve the environmental challenges. “There is need to move with innovative trend that is going on around the world in order not to be behind other Nation.” The Chairman, Organising Committee, Oluwatosin Ogunmola, said the platform will encourage innovators and also network innovators with those that are in need of their invention. “The fair is an avenue to showcase innovations of Nigeria engineers to outer world and bring in potential investors that will be interested in commercialising the products.”

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