Experts in Information and Communication Technology (ICT), welding and fabrication and other allied sectors have urged Nigerian policymakers to create the enabling environment, support infrastructure and incentives for young innovative Nigerians to express themselves.
They made the call at the Session on Inventors & Innovators during the Alaghodaro Investment Summit, held in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Mr Oswald Guobadia, Executive Vice President and a founding partner of DBH Solutions, urged educational institutions in Edo State to teach market-focused courses that will prepare young people for current industry challenges.
Guobadia challenged youths to convert problems to opportunities using new ideas and technology.
In his lead presentation, President of Nigeria Institute of Welding, Dr. Solomon Edeberi, said innovation is key to the industrialisation of any state and called on the Edo State Government to put the right structures in place to encourage innovation and invention.
He explained that Benin kingdom was known for her innovativeness and wondered what went wrong that people in the state are no longer innovative.
“Benin has one of the best road networks in the country and it was invented by someone. The inadequacy in the formal education system in the state is a challenge to innovators and inventors,” he said.
Other panellists made a case for the use of modern technology in driving the development of all sectors of the state.
They advised the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration to focus more on technical and vocational education and come up with a policy that will compel institutions in the state to teach technical and vocational courses.
They also urged the state government to key into the Local Content Act by encouraging young investors to develop their ideas.
Other suggestions made at the session included the need for a commission on innovation and invention, a new culture that encourages children to be creative, and the need for the state to tap into the skills of Edo people in the diaspora.