Okwe Obi, Abuja
The Federal Government, has pledged to support 21-year-old Usman Dalhatu, an entrepreneur who recently produced medical ventilator and sweeping machine, with patent right, funding, and commercialisation.
Minister of State for Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, who made the commitment yesterday when Dalhatu, a 200-level Chemical Engineering student of Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, presented the items to him in Abuja.
Abdullahi noted that Dalhatu’s inventions had showed the potentialities of most Nigerians which, he said, must not be undermined but encouraged with sufficient funds to compete globally.
He said: For us and for him, we have maintained that the youths are very creative and innovative and have the capacity giving the right situation to excel like their counterparts in different parts of the world.
“This invention by an undergraduate of Ahmadu Bello University underscores our belief and for us in the ministry to begin to support people that have this kind of inventive techniques and knowledge. If you notice, there are a number of relevant organisations that are here who can support the creativity.
“For instance, we have NASENI. Depending on what you think, we will direct NASENI to look at what you’re doing and see whether a partnership can be brokered so that the capacity can improve on what you have invented so that we can have a competitive global product that we can export.
“We have NOTAP. I understand you have approached to patent your product. Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO) is here to help you commercial it after necessary steps have been taken. We also have the presidential standing committee on inventions and innovations.
“The director who is in charge of assessment is in this office, and he directly provides the requisite processes for Mr President to intervene. He has given us directives to look at this kind of products and identify them, take inventory so that they can be assessed for possible federal government’s intervention either in terms of funding or easing of processes for you to manufacture a products.
“I have directed relevant departments to look at it and send a memo to my office then to Mr President so that we can make a case for his intervention.”
Earlier, Dalhatu, said he had already received supply orders from Lagos, Ghana, South Africa, and called on government to purchase the items, particularly, the ventilator for emergency medical care.