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Cross River Emerges First in 8th National Technology/Innovation Exhibition

By Our Reporter

Cross River State has emerged as the overall best in the States’ Ministry of Science and Technology category at the just concluded 8th national Technology and Innovation Exhibition.

The programme, organised by the Federal Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, held at the Eagle Square, Abuja, between the 11th to 15th of March, 2024.

The exhibition featured five categories, which include JETS, Technology Entrepreneurs, Research Institutions, Tertiary Institutions, and State Ministries in Charge of Science and Technology.

Cross River Emerges First in 8th National Technology/Innovation Exhibition
Dr Justin Beshel

Team Cross River, led by Dr Justin Beshel, the State’s Honourable Commissioner for Science and Technology displayed indigenous technologies – Central Authentication Payment System, Plantain stem Slicing Machine, and the Fibre Extractor to emerge best in the 36 states of the federation and FCT.

Cross River Emerges First in 8th National Technology/Innovation Exhibition
L-R: Dr Justin Beshel and Prof. Eka Braide

Prof. Eka Braide, former Vice Chancellor of the University of Cross River State, UNICROSS (formerly Cross River University of Technology, CRUTECH) and Federal University, Lafia who is the President Nigerian Academy of Science, presented the award to the state on behalf of the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Godfrey Nnaji.

Cross River Emerges First in 8th National Technology/Innovation Exhibition
Dr Justin Beshel

Speaking after receiving the award on behalf of the state, Dr Beshel thanked the team of innovators from Cross River State for the efforts they invested in developing the technologies saying that their success in the exhibition was a testament to Governor Bassey Otu’s commitment to harnessing tech talents in the state.

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Beshel, who dedicated the prize to the governor for his support for the team, called on investors, the private sector, and the federal government to support the state to develop the technologies into national and global products.

Cross River Emerges First in 8th National Technology/Innovation Exhibition
L-R: Dr Justin Beshel and Prof. Eka Braide

Explaining the technologies, he said that “Cross River State Ministry of Science and Technology brought to fore, 100 per cent local content Central Authentication Payment System App which monitors and sums up real-time, revenue generation from all Revenue Generation Agencies. This does not only allow for transparency, but also accountability, and nib to the barest minimum, revenue leakages while promoting Internally Generated Revenue.”

Also showcased was a Locally Fabricated Fibre Extractor, the first of its kind in West Africa. This machine extracts fibre from plantain and banana stems, as well as from pineapple. The use of fibre can not be overemphasised, especially with the recent policies on the ban on polythene materials. Fibre is used in textile industries, paper-making industries, and for the production of Plaster of Paris (POP). Being biodegradable, it is an emerging technology applicable in the Western world to keep the environment clean and safe. ”

The Commissioner added that “to enhance productivity and reduce time cost, another machine, the Stem Slicer was also fabricated and showcased. It’s designed to neatly and promptly slice the banana or plantain stems into sizes that can easily be taken up by the Fibre Threshing and Extracting Machine. And this, too, is the first of its kind.”

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