By Stanley Iwuoha
President Mohammadu Buhari will on Monday (today) declare the 2021 edition of the annual Technology Expo open at Eagles Square, Abuja.
The event which is the 5th edition in the series is expected to attract over 2000 exhibitors at the area, comprising mainly researchers, inventors, innovators and investors.
Addressing the press at Eagles Square, Abuja when he led minister of state, with other Management staff of the Ministry on a facility tour of the EXPO venue over the weekend in preparation for the one week Expo, the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu said President Mohammadu Buhari will declare the event open with lots of innovation introduced to make the event unique from the previous editions.
With over 2000 exhibitors expected to participate in the Expo, Onu said the event is to be beamed live on U-Tube, Instagram and other social media platforms. He said the event would also be screened live on a website www.techexpo.gov.ng to enable all interested persons participate in the epoch making event, especially Nigerians in Diaspora and prospective investors.
The minister said other plans lined up to make the event unique include the display of 4 LED Screens at the Eagle square to restrict movements of participants in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
‘‘We have plan to beam all the event on U-Tube channel, and also screen the event on www.nigeriatechexpo.gov.ng. Those are the two major platforms, also all the technical sessions are going to be beamed online, using these two platforms every day of the five days. Also, is going to be on instagram and twitter account.
‘‘Online registration going to open tomorrow. Participants can also register online. You do not need to register here physically. There will be 4 LED screens on Eagle Square. It has not happened before. People can watch the event without following the President round the arena.’’
According to him, the 2021 Science, Technology and Innovation EXPO, will help showcase and develop ideas, inventions and innovations, that will transform Nigeria’s economy to knowledge and innovation-driven one.
Dr. Onu explained that the essence of the expo, is to explore more ways to commercialize research done by investors and innovators , adding that more wealth and revenue will be available to the nation when research ideas have been converted into products and services.
“The best way to fight poverty, is through commercializing research findings into products and services needed by the general population and creating more wealth for the citizens and boosting the economy”.
With commercialization of research findings, Onu said Nigeria will be self-reliant and self -sufficient.
The minister, added that the EXPO will afford an opportunity for investors, innovators, inventors, members of the Organized Private Sector and relevant stakeholders to share ideas, thereby creating more businesses, wealth and increased revenue for the government.’’
”The essence of this expo is to explore ways in which we can commercialise our research findings. If you do research and innovation and you end up leaving them on the shelves of laboratories, they will have very little impact on the economy of the nation. But once you are able to convert them into products and services that we need as a people, the same products and services we ordinarily import from outside, we will be helping the economy in so many ways.
‘’Providing jobs for our people is best way to fight poverty, create wealth, growth small scale enterprises and from small scale they grow into medium scale enterprises. These are successful stories Nigerians need to know about.
‘’It is very import in our drive for self-sufficiency and self-reliance. So, this expo is critical, not just helping us to commercialise our research findings, but making Nigeria become self-reliant. We can’t continue to import many things we need, we should be able to produce many of these things in Nigeria.’’
Dr. Onu further expressed confidence at the level of preparation affirmed that this year’s EXPO will surpass all previous editions in terms of innovations, organisation, increased number of registered participants and many relevant areas.
On Covid-19 protocols, Dr. Onu, said that all plans had been put in place by the organisers, to ensure minimal risk of infections amongst participants and stakeholders, asserting that the orgazation will make sure the event is safe and secure for all participants.
The EXPO will commence from Monday 15th March and end on Friday 19th March 2021.