Winners Of National Science, Technology And Innovation Expo 2018 [Abuja]

Winners have emerged in the National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018, which held from March 5-9, 2018, with the theme “Fast-tracking sustainable development of Nigeria through science and technology”.

Organized by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, the National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 brought scientists, researchers, inventors, innovators and investors from all parts of Nigeria and outside the country to achieved the following:

  • Showcase the immense science and technology potentials available in Nigeria.
  • Brought to the fore the great role science and technology can play in the rapid industrialization and socio-economic development of a nation.
  • Provided opportunity for innovators and inventors to advertise their breakthroughs with the aim of connecting with relevant stakeholders and investors for the commercialization of such technologies.
  • Gave the over 297 research institutions, technology entrepreneurs and organisations with a combined figure of 555 projects to present their innovations and inventions to be scrutinized by a committee for creativity and ingenuity, and relevance in providing solution to pressing societal problems.

Winners Of National Science, Technology And Innovation Expo 2018

Research Institutes Category

The assessment saw inventors and innovators compete in four categories from which the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) came first under the research institutes category, the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) Lagos, was second, while Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC) got third position.

Tertiary Institutes Category

The first position in tertiary institute category went to Covenant University, Ota, Ogun State, Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, came second, while third position went to Federal University, Ndufu Alike Ikwo, Ebonyi State.

Nnenna Nwosu who is a scientist and senior lecturer at the Federal University of Ndufu-Alieke Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State developed linguascript keyboards that could text and type in Igbo, Hausa and Yoruba languages to ensure Nigerian languages don’t go into extinction.

The author of the project, Nnenna Nwosu, explained that the plug and play keyboards incorporate all the alphabets of the three major languages.

The innovation is a specialised keyboard that uses numerals representing vowels and consonants instead of the conventional Latin orthography, with each number representing a letter, which could type or send messages using the number.

The linguascript keyboard was designed for both mobile phones and computer keyboard accessories to make indigenous languages accessible to everybody so as to afford IT users more reasons to think and type in their own languages.

JETS Category

In the junior engineers, technology and scientists (JETS) category, Government College Science and Technical College, Garki, Abuja, was first, Calvary Arrows College, Gboko, Benue State came second, while Government Secondary School, Bwari got third position.

Technology Entrepreneurs Category

In the technology entrepreneurs category, Bemsbuch International Ltd.; Alpha and Technical Service and Engr. Agada Sunday Ojonimi came first, second and third respectively.

The Federal Government of Nigeria recognized and rewarded the winners with 9 million for their various groundbreaking innovations with first position across all categories clinching 1 million each while the second won 750, 000 and third positions got 500, 000 respectively.

In his closing remarks, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu expressed optimism that the outcome of the Expo would advance commercialisation in the country.

In his words:

“Through the work of your hand and the power of imagination, you have shown that Nigeria is the home of the rising sun. You have shown that we have the brain to dream and think.

You have shown that STI holds the key for our beloved country to become truly great. You have shown that the future belongs to Nigeria, if we pay more attention to technology and innovation.’’

The National Science, Technology and Innovation Expo 2018 also saw the presentation of science kits produced by a parastatal under the ministry, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) to 19 secondary schools from the six geopolitical zones of the nation.

Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah Wins 2017 NAS Gold Medal Prize

Dr. Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Sciences, Redeemer’s University, Ede, Osun State, has emerged winner of the 2017 Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) Gold Medal Prize.

Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah

The Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS) instituted a Gold Medal Prize in 2016, after 40 years of its existence, to be awarded to deserving Nigerian scientists who have made significant achievements in science of national relevance and global resonance. The award is to be made annually, alternating between the life sciences and physical sciences.

Announcing the winner at a media briefing in Lagos, Chairman of the Nigerian Academy of Science Prize Committee, Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, a past President of the NAS stated that Dr. Unuabonah emerged the pioneer winner of the prestigious prize after a due process of evaluation by a five-member physical science jury chaired by Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe, FAS, a past NAS President.

Professor Ogunmola said in picking Dr. Unuabonah for the prize, his numerous contributions in physical sciences were subjected to critical scrutiny, stating that his work that fetched him the award focused on the development of alternatives for the replacement of expensive zeolites activated carbon and membranes currently being used in the treatment of water and wastewater.

According to Professor Ogunmola, the research work of Dr. Emmanuel Iyayi Unuabonah has contributed significantly to the body of knowledge of modified hybrid kaolinite clay as absorbent of metal ion pollutants as is evident from his publication and patents, adding that “this innovation has the potential to be further developed into point-of-use system for ready treatment of water in rural communities”.

In his remarks, the NAS current President Professor Mosto Onuoha decried the neglect of science studies in Nigeria, while calling on the federal and state governments to set up an endowment fund for the support of scientific research in ensuring that Nigeria joined developed nations in scientific advancement.

NASENI Wins Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance and Change 2018 Best Agency In Nigeria

Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance and Change in their recent study and evaluation rated the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) as the best agency in Nigeria.

NASENI emerged with the honor under the leadership of Professor (Engr.) Mohammed Sani Haruna as the best performing agency both in the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and in the country.

The Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance and Change, an independent monitoring group who bestowed the honour on the Agency, said it undertook a systematic assessment of 17 agencies under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology using both qualitative and quantitative methodology.  The result of its assessment found NASENI worthy for the recognition and honor.

Dr. Ifure Ataifure, Team Leader and Patriot Sabo Odeh, National Coordinator of the Coalition of Civil Society for Good Governance and Change in a statement jointly signed on behalf of the group, revealed that a sample of opinion was gathered from the various departments in the agencies, the performance index of the agencies were analyzed, and indices for a proactive workforce were also taken into consideration and NASENI emerged tops from all indications for its interventions in national development.

The result further revealed that the Agency has achieved a remarkable milestone in areas of inventions, innovations and products development through multi-sector interventions.

NASENI was established in 1992 by the Nigerian Federal Government of the recommendations of the White Paper Committee on the 1991 Report of a 150-member National Committee on Engineering Infrastructure comprising Scientists, Engineers, Administrators, Federal and State Civil Servants, Economists, Lawyers, Bankers and Industrialists.

Thor Explorations Limited Wins 2018 Investment Battlefield Award

Thor Explorations Limited (also known as Segilola), a gold mining company operating in Osun State, Nigeria has emerged winner of the 2018 Investment Battlefield award for their gold exploration project in Osun State.

Thor Explorations Limited was selected as the most promising of the 22 junior mining companies that participated in the battlefield, after beating Algold Resources, a Mauritanian gold explorer company.

The CEO of Thor Explorations Limited, Segun Lawson, accepted the Investment Battlefield award after pitching the project to a panel of judges made up of leading analysts and investors, in Cape Town, South Africa.

The award came just as Nigeria was named among the top ten mining designations for 2019.

The company, which has considerable interest in some West African countries is also listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange. Thor’s flagship asset is its 100 percent owned Segilola Gold Project in Osun State.

Thor has been developing the Segilola Gold Project since it acquired it 15 months ago and aims to break ground this year by commencing construction.

The Segilola Gold Project was presented by Thor to a number of investor panels at the 2018 Mining Indaba in the extremely competitive Investor Battlefield Competition, which ran over the course of three days. Thor and Segilola emerged victorious over all participants with Segilola being declared the “Best Emerging Mining Project in Africa”.

In the words of Segun Lawson:

“The economic robustness of the project, the progressive Mining Code of Nigeria and the regulatory framework of the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development as well as the potential to increase its size through further exploration were the key critical factors considered by the panel.”

General Manager, Global Business Report, Alice Pascoletti, said Nigeria’s inclusion among the top mining destinations for 2019, was premised on factors such as legal and regulatory framework, ease of doing business, risk profile as well as experiences of operators in the country.

Thor’s CEO, Segun Lawson, 39, a geologist who was educated in the United Kingdom, had a brief stint in investment banking before venturing into mining, when he founded the company some eight years ago.

Thor Explorations currently employs 52 people in three West African countries, but Lawson said this would rise to about 250 once production starts at the Segilola Gold project, which is its flagship. Wins 2018 Techpoint Build Pitch Storm Competition also referred to as Placements has emerged as the overall winner of the 2018 Techpoint Build Pitch Storm competition.

Placements, a platform that allows job seekers find paid internship opportunities in Nigeria, receive an equity-free cash prize of ₦1 million and, along with other finalists, will gain the necessary exposure for their business and possibly investments too.

Acounteer, and Legitcar also emerged as the first and second runner-up respectively.

The maiden edition of Techpoint Build is an annual convergence of startups, innovators, makers, technical entrepreneurs and all industry stakeholders across Nigeria.

After a stringent screening process, nine of the over 200 applicants for the Techpoint Build Pitch Storm competition emerged finalists.

The nine finalists;  Accounteer, Wemove, The Footwear Academy, SmartTeller, myPadi, Legitcar, Gerocare, Loystar and Placements had been part of an intense 3-day Bootcamp to help them prepare them for the finale.

The judges for the event include; Nick Dixon (Founder, Cloud Cover), Aima Nwafor-Ohiwerei (Fellow, Singularity Investments), Adetunji Eleso (Head, Growth Capital CChub), Deepankar Rustagi (CEO, Vconnect), Yele Bademosi (Founder, Microtraction), Olanike Jagun (MTN), Jason Njoku (Founder, Spark), Leonard Stiegeler (GM, Ringier Africa), Kola Aina (Founder, Emerging Platforms), Chika Nwobi (CEO, L5 Lab) and Martin Karanji (GSMA).

Techpoint Build aims to foster increased local investment in Nigeria’s local startup ecosystem.