Nigerian youths turning environmental, power problems into opportunities

The drive to bring Nigeria out of its environmental and energy problems received a major boost last week when budding innovators and inventors from 23 Nigerian tertiary institutions converged on Civic Centre, Lagos to compete and showcase their works.

In what turned out to be a tough contest, the students laid bare the scientific processes for the inventions, seeking help to advance the projects.

For two days, chief executive officers, professionals and experts from different firms, pored over the works, interrogating the presenters and the project prospects.

In the end, representatives of the Covenant University, Ota, emerged winners, beating their closest rival, Ahmadu Bello University, to second place.

By winning the competition organised by Enactus, a global non-profit organisation, Covenant University will represent Nigeria at the Enactus World Cup in San Jose, California, USA in September 2019.

The panel of judges was impressed by the team’s PetCity and Toles, projects addressing environmental pollution while creating jobs for many.

According to the Covenant University team leader, David Iyiola, PetCity focused on the reduction of plastics and nylon from the environment.

The initiative is about collecting used plastic and nylon wastes, and turning them into sustainable building materials that are cost effective and durable for use.

The group concentrated on interlocking bricks to address the problem of bad roads in the country, starting with their academic community.

“We started fully in May 2019 when we produced our first brick in the foundry, at the mechanical engineering department, where most of our production takes place. During this period, we also visited the civil engineering department to perform various tests on our bricks to see the level of durability.

“After concluding on the price of our innovative bricks and blocks, we laid the interlocking bricks at one of the Covenant University walkways,” he said.

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