Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Health care delivery system and digital economy drive of the government is on the verge of receiving an unexpected boost from Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV)
Chairman of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) of the 2020 UAV competition for researchers and scientists in Nigeria, Prof. Abiodun Musa Aibinu, told journalists in Abuja, on Monday, that the 2020 competition will expose a lot of discoveries that government could leverage on to achieve their goal.
Aibinu, a professor of mechatronics engineering from the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, said that proper deployment of UAV would help achieve the desire as quickly as possible.
He explained that the 2020 UAV competition slated to commence on November 23 in Kaduna with the theme: “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Challenge 2020”, will witness the impressive attendance of researchers, corporate bodies and tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
He was optimistic that UAV competition will herald significant acceleration in the drive for the digital economy through prompt transport delivery and secured digital payment system and enhanced data transmission.
Prof. Aibinu also confirmed that effective use of UAV would significantly help in the distribution of food, drugs and other essential health care items during critical periods, particularly in rural areas, or in congested locations in major cities, and can also be used as part of telemedicine process.
He disclosed that the UAV competition was conceived based on numerous benefits and how it can be used to support government agencies to deliver effective healthcare services to the people.
He said the competition would help to build a database of researchers with UAV skills in Nigeria, stating that the LOC, after the event, will commence a well-structured mentorship programme for the winning teams, ensuring that they have access to hi-tech UAV equipment that would enhance their skills.
He, thus, encouraged interested participants to submit an application for the competition, assuring that the panel of experts would objectively and transparently consider all submissions and invite applicants whose submissions met the competition’s criteria, for participation at the grand finale in Kaduna.
Prof. Aibinu, however, revealed that the star prize for the winner of the competition is N6 million. Second runners-up, he added, would get N3 million, while third runners-up get N2 million, in addition to consolation prizes for other participants.
He disclosed that participants at the event would adhere strictly to the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 in order to prevent the spread of the virus.