FG, States Should Invest in Entrepreneurial Research to Solve Economic Woes

By Sam Kpenu

Federal and State governments have been asked to inject funds into entrepreneurial research to solve economic woes occasioned by the Coronavirus pandemic and other crises ravaging the nation.

President of the Centre for Multidisciplinary Research and Innovation (CEMRI), Dr Dandison Ukpabi, gave the charge at the opening ceremony of a three-day International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Business and Economic Restoration in post-COVID-19 Africa which held from Wednesday, 10th to Friday, 12th November, 2021 at the Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium, University of Port Harcourt.

The conference organised in partnership with the University of Port Harcourt Entrepreneurship Centre (UPEC), had speakers from foreign universities and within the nation as well.

Ukpabi, a post-Doctoral researcher at the University of Finland, noted that inter-university research collaboration among Nigerian scholars was weak, stressing the need to strengthen it. He said: “Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency of Nigeria (SMEDAN) should begin to think outside the box, organise competitions to identify ideas that could be funded.”

Declaring the Conference open, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunari Georgewill, said the conference was timely, noting that it would synthesise ideas on how entrepreneurial ventures would support the rebuilding of Africa’s economies ravaged in recent times by the COVID-19 pandemic and other negative factors.

The Vice Chancellor added that in line with the entrepreneurial vision, the University had been training students, host communities and other stakeholders on entrepreneurship.

Earlier in his address, the Director of University of Port Harcourt Entrepreneurship Centre, Professor Chinedu Ogbuji, said the theme of the conference, “Entrepreneurship, Business and Economic Restoration in Post COVID-19 Africa” was apt, given the realities the COVID-19 pandemic foisted on the global economy.

One of the speakers, Professor Juho Pesonen, Head, E-Tourism Research, Tourism Marketing and Research Expert, University of Eastern Finland, said the tourism industry needs to be customer-oriented and attuned to local people, adding that anyone could be anything he or she aspired to be through collaboration.

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