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Nigerian inventor, Gilbert, shines at global contest
By Alabi Williams

A NIGERIAN inventor, Brino Gilbert, has won two medals and a trophy at the May 2003 edition of the Invention and New Product Exposition (INPEX) in the United States. He won a bronze medal in the Aerospace/Aeronautics category and a silver medal in the manufacturing category.

Gilbert's invention, dubbed Counter Collision Gadget (CCG), also won a trophy for being the best invention from Africa in the continental category.

Gilbert, an indigene of Edo State, has spent the last 10 years seeking government attention for his research. He also approached several groups and individuals for sponsorship, but no one responded.


But recognition eventually came far away in America for the physicist who had to raise funds for his trip to INPEX.

His invention, the CCG, is a device that has the capacity to avert accidents on the road, air, sea and rail.

According to him, the research did not come easy in terms of financing and sourcing materials.

He said: "I had to source for funds here and there to get my air fare, BTA and the participation fees. Thank God for the award. My eyes were suffused with tears, as I looked around me, not seeing any Nigerian with me. I made Nigeria and Africa proud. I made Edo State proud."

Over the past few years, INPEX has provided a forum for the display of ideas and inventions from across the world. The mission of the programme is for it to offer a link between inventions and the business community. At this year's show, which took place at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, inventors came from Asia, Europe, Africa and America.

There, the most excellent inventions were screened by an international jury drawn from around the world and headed by David Wardel of the United Kingdom. Others, from the U.S., Korea, Croatia and Canada, were accompanied by 10 special professional delegates from Bulgaria, China, Malaysia and Moldova.

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    Speaking on his vision for the way forward for science and technology in Africa, Gilbert said: "The African continent could come off the aged drowsiness of technological backwardness as there is no limit to what the human mind can do. Nigeria is blessed with human power, but no one listens or pays attention to research and development. The government does not invest in what may yield a great economy in the nearest future. The African mentality is the now factor, not tomorrow."

On his invention, he said: "We could tidy up CCG here and manufacture it here. We can then export it to other countries of the world. But who cares?"