FG, states told to invest in research to solve economic woes
Federal and state governments have been asked to inject funds into entrepreneurship research to solve economic woes caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and other crises ravaging the nation.
A don and President of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research and Innovation (CEMRI), Dr. Dandison Ukpabi, gave the charge at a three-day International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Business and Economic Restoration in post COVID-19 Africa which ended at the weekend.
The conference organised in partnership with the University of Port Harcourt Entrepreneurship Centre (UPEC), had keynote speakers from foreign universities and within the nation as well.
CEMRI is a group of scholars of Africa origin, who ply their trades both at home and abroad and are connected by common desire to challenge and change negative stereotypes in Africa.
Ukpabi, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Finland, noted that inter-university research collaboration among Nigerian scholars was weak and stressed the need to strengthen it.
He also urged states to tap into opportunities in hackathon competitions
He said: “Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) should begin to think outside the box, organise hackathon competitions to identify ideas that could be funded.”
The Vice Chancellor of Uniport, Prof. Owunari Georgewill, said the conference was timely, noting that it would synthesise ideas on how entrepreneurial ventures and other businesses would support the rebuilding of Africa’s economies ravaged in recent times by the COVID-19 pandemic and other negative factors.
The Vice Chancellor added that in line with entrepreneurial vision, the university had been training students, host communities and other stakeholders on entrepreneurship.
The Director of UPEC, Prof. Chinedu Ogbuji, said the theme of the conference, “International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Business and Economic Restoration in Post COVID-19 Africa (CEBER),” was apt, given the realities the COVID-19 pandemic foisted on the global economy.
One of the keynote speakers, Prof. Juno Pesonen, Professor of Tourism Business at the University of Eastern Finland Business School, said, the tourism industry needs to be customer-oriented and attuned to local people, adding that anyone could be anything he or she aspired to be through collaboration.