Mr Mattew Ndu, Head of Vocational Division of Technology and Science Education Department, Federal Ministry of Education, says there is an urgent need to commercialise technological innovations by Nigerian students.

Ndu, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Abuja, said that commercialising and patenting such works would encourage innovations and guarantee the students’ future.

The grand finale of the fourth edition of the National Students’ Vocational Skills Competition for Federal Science and Technical Colleges (FSTCs) was held on Feb. 16 at FSTC, Orozo, FCT.

The event which featured science and technology exhibitions was organised by the Department of Technology and Science Education of the Federal Ministry of Education.

The theme of the event was “Hands-on Learning”.

Ndu said that the competition offered an opportunity for the students to see what their peers were doing which would in turn reassure them of the standard of their own innovations.

He said that the underfunding of technical education over the years has hampered innovation and technological growth of the country.

“The competition and exhibition assured them that they are on the right track.

“The best selection was made and will make sure that we support commercialisation; that is why we brought National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), COSCHARIS motors and others.

“One of the major problems is that we see putting money in technical education as a cost instead of an investment.

“For instance, in Singapore and Japan, there is a slogan that no amount is too much to be invested in technical education; and when they invest money in these, they look at the cost of not doing it not at the cost of doing it; the opportunity cost.

“If we invest in science education, the students will become producers and it will be better for our economy. We look at cost too much instead of looking at the advantage which outshines the cost of doing it,’’ he said.

Ndu said that the excuse that science equipment was expensive was militating against technology.

He called for the provision of training materials for students and their teachers to hone up their skills.

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