By Omoh Gabriel
The National Board for Technology Incubation (NBTI) has disclosed that it has trained 81 entrepreneurs from 17 of its 26 Technology Incubation Centres (TICs) across the country under its Technology Incubation Programme (TIP).
This it said is meant to accelerate the re-industrialisation of the country and pull its economy out of over dependence on oil.
In a statement made available to Vanguard the government parastatal said that 146 other entrepreneurs are currently undergoing such training in the TICs for the same purpose.
The 81 graduated entrepreneurs, having a net worth of N 294 million, have provided 562 jobs, while the 146 trainee-entrepreneurs/incubates, with net worth of N 829 million, provide 169 jobs under their respective ventures.
According to the body under the TIP, the TICs incubate demand-driven and commercialisable technological and scientific innovations and research and development results by Nigerians, leading to the manufacture of consumer products and the subsequent setting up of various small and medium scales industries for the massive manufacture of the products for the markets.
It said â€œAny Nigerian with such innovations or R&D results wishing to become an entrepreneur and set up an industry of his or her own to manufacture consumer products, with such results produced from researches he or she may have conducted, or may have acquired the knowledge from universities and research institutes or any individual researcher can register as an incubatee in any TIC nearest to him or her where he or she undergoes a 3-year training in the manufacture of the products to become an entrepreneur/industrialist in the venture.
â€œThe TICs provides all training facilities, including a lab, and expertise to the incubatee. According to the figures released by the Board for the end of 2009, 22 of the graduated entrepreneurs have received various awards of excellence on the consumer products they manufacture; five entrepreneurs received patents for their inventions while 13 are awaiting approval for their patent applications.
â€œThe Technology Incubation Programme is an integrated support programme provided by the governments, academic institutions and the private sector, either individually or in partnership, with the intention of creating and nurturing budding value-added and technology-based enterprise.
It is aimed at making Nigeria a technologically competitive nation through the commercialisation of R&D results and other innovative efforts using technology incubation as tool.
â€œThe mandate of NBTI, established under the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology in 2005, is to facilitate the establishment and coordination of the activities of the Technology Incubation Centres and Science Parks designed to nurture new technology-based start-up businesses and SMEs nationwide, among othersâ€ the statement said.