The Nigerian Academy of Engineering has said that it has commenced moves to create a suitable platform for investors and inventors to meet for economic benefits.
The President, NAE, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, said this at the induction of the Founder/Group Managing Director of Arco Group Plc, Alfred Okoigun, as an honorary fellow of the academy.
She explained that many investors in the country did not have adequate access to inventors.
This, she said, could discourage innovators and indigenous companies in need of investors to outshine their foreign counterparts.
“We need investors who are ready to invest in engineering innovations and impact the economy. We have many inspiring engineering innovations and a lot are still coming up. What we are doing at present is to initiate programmes that will serve as a link between them,” she said.
Maduka urged the inductee to ensure the growth of the engineering profession, adding that the NAE expected more investments in the profession from him.
“It is a great honour that he (Okoigun) agreed to come into the academy. I am sure that he is going to make great contributions. We hope that he will come in to drive innovations,” she added.
Speaking on ‘Engineering Innovation and Last-Mile Development: Towards a Synergy between Investors and Research’, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Lagos, Prof. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, challenged the NAE to be concerned about the quality of inventions.
He said, “Investors are concerned about the quality of inventions and want better returns. While both investors and innovators are concerned about the future of the country, there is a need for an intervention. I think this is where the NAE comes in.
“University researches must be critically looked into and the fundamental difference between investors and inventors must be closed.”
The Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Maikanti Baru, described the inductee as a remarkable, astute and passionate entrepreneur.
On his part, Okoigun described the fellowship as an encouragement, adding that it would encourage him to be more supportive of the engineering profession.