Entrepreneurs at the ongoing Technology and Science Expo urged the Federal Government to invest in the creativity of the young generation to advance the country’s socio-economic development.
The entrepreneurs made the call at the weeklong expo in Abuja.
They lamented the way governments at all levels paid little or no attention to youthful creations and innovations at such expositions in the country.
Miss Farida Kabir, a biological scientist and founder, OTRAC, an e-learning software company, frowned at the way the organisers were focusing more on research works from institutes rather than on young talents and innovators.
“Government’s focus mainly on research findings from institutes is not encouraging to the young ones who have fresh and modern ideas that can help fast tract socio-economic development.
“The expo has been good, I think the government is trying so far but they it has a long way to go and needs to encourage more start-ups and our youths.
“The government needs to create platforms where they it will showcase what they have, their intellect, and their intellectual property for this exhibition rather than focusing on research institutes.
“Honestly, a lot of the research institutes that came here, there technologies are outdated; some of the things I am seeing are things that even secondary school students can produce even better.
“Am not saying that they are not worth it or they are not good but we have young people who can produce hardware, brain technology, and people who are into software development.
“These are the things that are ruling our world today, I think that the Federal Government should look into that and try as much as possible to invest in people that have ideas that can change the narrative that we have today,” she said.
Kabir therefore appealed to government to exploit all the young talents at the expo and try to commercialise their works, saying that this would boost their morale.
Another entrepreneur, Mr Micheal Awoniyi, the Chief Executive of Davestone Products, makers of stone tiles, also called on the government to focus attention on the innovation of the young people at the expo.
He advised the government to look into the work of youths and encourage them by promoting their inventions for the country to be truly great.
He said that even though the company came to exhibit its locally produced tiles, government and its officials should also pay attention to such innovations.
Awoniyi complained that the officials at the expo venue were only interested in showing the minister things from institutes and universities at the expense of the innovations of the entrepreneurs.
He said that if government could encourage people like him by investing into the mass production of the tiles, it would go a long way to reduce capital flights through the importation.
The expo is organised by the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in pursuant of its mandate of deploying science, technology and innovation to provide employment, alleviate poverty and contribute to economic diversification.
Professionals from universities, polytechnics, research institutes and industrial research laboratories are participants at the five-day expo.
Others include inventors, innovators, science, technology and innovation entrepreneurs in the formal and informal sectors as well as selected Nigerian innovators in the Diaspora.