Worldskills Nigeria, a Non-Governmental Organisation
(NGO), on Wednesday raised concerns over the routine manner technology
and innovation expositions were being recycled annually in the country. Mr Rahman Mogaji, the Chief Executive Officer of Worldskills made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the ongoing Science and Technology Expo in Abuja.

He
said that although the concept of the expo was laudable as the
innovations were expected to showcase the creativity of people,
especially youths, many of them had been exhibited in other fora without
any improvements.

Mogaji, who said his
organisation was into vocational skills promotion of youths, added that
he was at the expo to seek partnership on youths skills acquisition and
training.

He observed that the same kind
of products and ideas that were showcased in the previous expositions
were being recycled in the current one.

“Last year’s exposition, I saw similar things at the expo which I am seeing this year, there is need for improvement.

“We should not be recycling what we have done for the past three years bringing it as innovations.

“There
is need for us to showcase innovation in the areas of science and
technology, but the focus should be more on how technology can solve the
issue of unemployment and also focus on market demand.

“It
is not about doing a helicopter that nobody will patronise, we should
focus on what we need and at the long run the inventors can
commercialise it to make money from it.

“The government can through that process also create the platform to solve the issue of unemployment,” he said.

Mogaji
noted that encouraging the youths to have interest in science and
technology would engender innovation, create a platform for them to
excel and bring about national development.

The CEO said that most expositors at the expo had ideas, but there was need to focus on more trendy innovations.

He,
however, observed that encouraging people to develop their vocational
skills ability was required more to create employment in the country.

“Though a lot of people have initiatives, they have been able to do a lot of things but we still have a long way to go.

“We believe that the government has to encourage this people so that they can do more.

“One
of the things I realised is that there are new trends going on in the
global arena which the country is expected to focus on.

“We should also focus more on vocational skills so that people can have skills irrespective of educational certification.

“With their skills they can do things that can make them self employed and solve the issue of unemployment,” he said.

Mogaji
added that science and tech could be deployed into agriculture to
encourage the youths as well as improve from the archaic way of farming.

“Although
the current government is focusing on agriculture but no youth will go
to farm to engage in the old pattern of farming.

“They
want something innovative that can appeal to them and encourage them to
go into agriculture while the value chain can be developed.

“The role of science and technology in agriculture needs to be emphasised so youths can embrace it,” he said.

The
expo, which started on April 3 will end on April 7 has as its theme:
“Science, Technology and Innovation for Nigeria’s Economic
Diversification’’, is organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and
Technology.

Scientists, technology
innovators, agriculturists, innovators from the Diaspora, investors,
among other stakeholders are  participants at the expo.

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