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Innovation key to national development—Experts

Experts have stressed the need for countries and institutions to be innovative so as to remain relevant in the rapidly changing globally competitive environment.     Speakers  at  this year’s Verdant  Zeal annual lecture, the  4th  in  the  series said  for  Nigeria to  make progress  in her  socio-political  and economic development,  the country has  to constantly innovate  or risk stunted growth.
The event  which took  place at the  Civic  Center ,Victoria Island  Lagos  has  as  its  Theme: The Role of  Innovation  in  Creating  a  New  Agenda  for  National  Development
In his address at  the  2015  Innovation  series, the  Managing  Director/Group Chief Executive Tunji  Olugbodi  of Verdant Group, organizers of the event, stressed that innovation was central to human existence.
He said : “ Innovation is at the heart of  everything we do; there is no way we can win today or secure  tomorrow without new thinking or innovation.
“Today, innovation is a mainstream discipline that defines the extent and boundary of possibilities and productivity in different areas of human endeavour.
“At its heart is the deliberate application of information, imagination and initiative in deriving greater or different values from use and application of resources.
“ But what makes it dynamic is the continuous utilization of all processes by which new ideas are generated and converted into useful products, services or tangible offerings”
Continuing, Olugodi also  said “ “This is the right time to create a favourable innovative environment to address the sectors that will lead to job creation, a green economy, industrialization and all the other possibilities of our dreams”
Speaking also , the chairman of the occasion , Sir  Steve  Omajafor,  noted that  that  agenda setting  for National  Development involved  not only innovation  and acquisition  of  skills  but also  strong  commitment.
He said : “To create a new agenda for National Development, we need to be innovative, acquire new skills and a large dose of commitment.
“ We need stable political and economic systems and beyond it all, we need leaders who can think, act independently and command respect.”
Guest  speaker Prof. Patrick  Utomi  said it was    by  creating a content  of  innovation that a  nation is renewed.
Utomi  observed  that  the critical ingredients  that  will  create  evolution  of innovativeness are good  education  and  good  institutional  arrangement, adding that  tenacity goes with the  process  of  innovation.
The General Editor. The Sun Newspaper Mrs. Funke  Egbemode said  that what drives creativity is essentially  passion.
She said : “ What  looks  like  work  to other  people will not  look  same  to  you if  you  have  passion  for  it” To her  its  not  only  passion  that  does it  but passion with  speed and energy.
Mr  kunle  Afolayan  MD/CEO  Golden  Effects  Pictures noted   that the nation’s   educational  paradigm is poor. He  suggested  that government should take the lead , in teaching  Nigerians   how  to  be  innovative  and how  to  acquire  entrepreneurial  skills.

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