The team from the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) has emerged the national winner of the first-ever Nigerian Content Science and Technology Innovation Challenge (STIC) sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB). Represented by two of its undergraduates-Miss Victoria Effiong, a 200L Visual Art student and Mr Paul Okim, a 300L student studying Electrical Electronics, the team came up with a DC Solar Element stove that reduces the cooks at the same time as gas, but for 87% less than conventional electric cooker, while also being environmentally-friendly. The team’s institutional mentor is Prof Dr Babson Ajibade, a Professor of African Visual Culture & Visual Anthropology. Having emerged the national winners from a pool of 511 entries received from 129 tertiary institutions across all 36 States of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory, these two undergraduates will now receive the star prize of 10 Million Naira and business incubation opportunity, while their institution receive 20 million Naira investment on Research and Development, courtesy of the NCDMB.
The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri, who was the special guest of honour at the Grand Finale, while commending the NCDMB state government for introducing the STIC to build the capacity of young Nigerians in science and technology, said that his administration had adopted an educational curriculum that had shifted emphasis from certificate education to science and technology-based skills, as no society could develop beyond its level of education.
While speaking at the Grand Finale of the competition held at the NCDMB Towers in Yenagoa, Bayelsa on Tuesday, June 29th, 2021, the Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Engr Simbi Wabote described the STIC as an initiative aimed at developing local capacity and achieving the NCDMB’s target as indicated in the NOGIC Acts 2010. According to him, the Nigerian Content Science Technology and Innovation challenge (STIC) is considered a key initiative by the board and aims at engaging, showcasing, developing, supporting and awarding deserving students, lecturers and tertiary institutions who excel and have bragging rights when it comes to technology development.
While giving an introduction to the STIC during the event, the Country Director, Enactus Nigeria noted that the expectation is that at the end of the day, his organization’s partnership with NCDMB, to implement the STIC will have created and facilitated sustainable, youth-led entrepreneurial ventures that will accelerate reverse innovation, provide job opportunities and create wealth for the growing number of the unemployed and underemployed Nigerians.
The Managing Director, Bank of Industry (BoI), Olukayode Pitan and Deputy Political and Economic Chief, State Department, United States Consulate in, Lagos, Merrica Heaton, who delivered their goodwill messages virtually, expressed support for the Bayelsa State government and the NCDMB.
Having received 511 entries from 129 tertiary institutions across all 36 states of Nigeria including the Federal capital territory, the STIC was officially launched in November 2020 to challenge undergraduates from all accredited Nigerian tertiary institutions to stretch their ingenuity, and apply science & technology to create home-grown, innovative, and technology-driven business solutions that address some of our pressing everyday problems.
The winner of the STIC will be going home with the grand prize of 10 million Naira and business incubation, while their institution, the Cross River University of Technology will receive an investment of 20 Million Naira in research and development, courtesy of the NCDMB. The other two teams that emerged first and second-runner up of the STIC were the team from University of Jos, Plateau State, and Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi whose ideas were an IOT-operated hydroponics system and fuel-less generator respectively.