Sometime ago in a classroom at the Electronic Engineering Department of one of the leading universities in Nigeria, a lecturer teaching the theories and principles of engineering mentioned an equation and its constituents. A curious student wanted to know the value of that constant and how it is applied in real life. Funnily enough, the lecturer replied saying ‘In Nigeria, you won’t need that knowledge. You don’t use it. So we just show you the formula, and you are good to go’. That student was Tochukwu Clinton Chukwueze, the founder of CIC and Clintonel Technologies. 

It is no news that Nigeria has no place at present among technologically-advanced nations in the world. Why is that? Simple! She’d rather choose suppositions over practicalities, especially in her institutions. The truth is, any country where her youths can demonstrate a high level of skill and ability to create and think wide, has the tendency to boast of a higher growth. Schumpeter (1942) birthed the ‘Creative Destruction,’ which is a process in which new processes destroy old ones. Nigeria needs to tap into this anointing. She needs to totally destroy that mentality of ‘Made in Nigeria’.

No doubt, hardware is harder in Nigeria. The big question now is, ‘Why?’ 

Everyday, there is some boy somewhere birthing a new idea or invention that can make the world easy to live in. We see people like him everywhere. In our communities, on social media, and even in schools where we teach or learn. It’s not surprising that most of them give up their ideas for something else. After all, even our educational sector which is supposed to be a keystone of new ideas, methods and innovations, has lost confidence in itself. One of the reasons for a slow-pace of innovation in Nigeria, is the lack of a well-thought initiative to make inventions as easy as possible. Another big reason is the idea that anything made in Nigeria – especially in Aba, is substandard. We would rather order a designer shoe online, than patronise Chukwudi wears. This has made inventors like Chukwudi give up an identity for their brands, and adopt names like ‘Nika’ and ‘Addiddas’, since that is what we want. Of course, they won’t make the name obvious for you to detect it’s not ‘Nike’ or ‘Adidas’.

For us to know what innovation looks like in Nigeria, we need to invest in it. We need to patronise our brothers and sisters in Aba. Government needs to invest in, and fund new innovations and ideas. Availability of a fast, reliable and affordable internet connection, cannot be overlooked. It will aid research. 

In conclusion, we need to end that idea of seeing polytechnics in Nigeria as being inferior. Together, we can make Nigeria a better place for us all.

This article was written bOkedara Samuel; connect with him on Instagram via here  

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