The Edo State Polytechnic, Usen, has commenced engagement with skilled artisans, equipment fabricators and other key stakeholders in the formal and non-formal sectors of the economy in Edo State in pursuance of a project to construct an eco-friendly generator for low-income female artisans in Nigeria.
The institution won a grant for the project from the Carleton University and the Canadian government through its Centre for Gender Studies and Women Development for Gender Equality and Gendered Design in Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) programmme.
The interactive session which was held in Benin City, the Edo State capital, had artisans and women groups from across the state in attendance.
Rector of the polytechnic, Prof. Abiodun Falodun, said the institution has been repositioned to deliver excellence in learning and research in science and technology as well as in contributing to reducing drudgery and improving work processes in different artisanal and professional fields.
He said the grant from the Canadian government is for the development of an eco-friendly generator for low-income female artisans in Nigeria, with a view to mainstreaming women in the development of the country by developing machines that reduces stress, enhances productivity and consequently improve their livelihoods.
According to him, “We are putting the polytechnic and Edo State on the global technology map. We are looking forward to receiving other such grants to contribute to development of society and bequeathing our students with world-class learning experience. This is very much in line with Governor Godwin Obaseki’s plan for the school.
“The focus on women is to provide them with machines that are tailor-made to address their challenges in working with technology. So, we believe this project will be beneficial to women in Usen community, the state and Nigeria at large.”
The primary investigator on the project, Dr. Ese Esther Oriarewo and the co-primary investigator, Dr. Obokhai Kess Asikhia, expressed their delight in working with the artisans in the state on the development of the generator.
Dr. Asikhia said the interactive session afforded them the opportunity to engage primarily with those who will make use of the technology and understand their challenges so as to develop the machine to meet their peculiar needs.