• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Innovation, research seen driving Nigeria’s circular economy

35% of Nigerians say innovation is well-managed  – Report

Innovation, applied research, and collaboration is crucial in driving Nigeria’s circular economy, experts have said.

The experts who spoke at a recent event organised by the Circular Economy Innovation Partnership in collaboration with the Pro-poor Growth and Promotion of Employment in Nigeria (SEDIN) – a program of the German Development Agency (GIZ) and others urged entrepreneurs to apply research outcomes in transforming their circular business model.

The experts also called on the entrepreneurs to provide innovative solutions while collaborating with actors in the sector to tap opportunities and drive industry growth.

Kirk Semple, director at the Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University in a keynote address said that research and innovation are crucial in addressing fundamental problems in the ecosystem, noting that entrepreneurs, innovators, and researchers’ common goal are to address problems.

“Africa is blessed with the capacity of her youth enhancement in this space, and if we can cultivate the habit of a propensity for applied research then we would transform the landscape,” Semple who was represented by Akanimo Odon, head of African strategic partnerships, Lancaster University said.

Also speaking at the event, Solape Hammond, special adviser, Lagos State Office of SDGs and Investment noted that Lagos state through the Lagos circular economy initiative and collaboration with the private sector has made progress in tackling waste in the state.

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Solape who was represented by Lekan Fatogun, senior special assistant of SDGs and investment noted that Lagos targets to establish 170 recycling centres across the state before the end of 2023.

According to him, entrepreneurs across the circular economy in the state have a role to play in enabling the state to achieve the target by providing innovative solutions to address waste management.

“Turning Lagos to a circular economy is significant to economic development and resilient of the state,” he said.

Sina Uti, head of the component- local economic development, SEDIN said her organization has partnered with the public and private sectors in Lagos to support entrepreneurs across the plastic and waste recycling industry.

Uti said the SEDIN initiative supports SMEs by improving the business landscape in five of its partner states – Niger, Plateau, Edo, Ogun, and Lagos to drive job creation.

She noted that GIZ in partnership with other stakeholders recently launched the business entry guide barometer, while also urging start-ups to tap opportunities in the plastic and waste recycling sector of the state.

According to her, SEDIN connects established businesses to finance by linking them to innovative financial solutions that can help them scale.

Speaking also at the event, Alake Tunbosun, Special advisor, Lagos state science, research, and innovation council, the Lagos state service and innovation council recently awarded grants to SMEs operating in the circular economy and student entrepreneurs.

“The Lagos state government accrued $600, 000 for this initiative and has empowered 40 start-ups, Alake, who was represented by Akeem Hassan, Information technology project coordinator to the SA on innovation & technology said.

Also, during the event, awards were presented to Babatunde Adebayo of Eco Circular Solutions who emerged the winner of the Trusted Advisor award, while Osarode Odemwingie of Rodelenz industries emerged as the winner of the Kinetic Thinking award and challenge. Three others won the Research Fellowship award.