The Federal Government has appointed a US-based Nigerian, Jessica Mathews, who recently innovated an energy generating football and skipping rope, as an Entrepreneurship Ambassador.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga, on Friday, after the presentation and demonstration of the invented products to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa.

According to the Edo State-Born inventor the soccer ball could generate three hours of electricity after 30 minutes of play and could store power for 72 hours.

She also said the electricity generated by the ball, according to her, can be used as electricity source to power lighting points and other household equipment.

The 25 year old co-founder of Unchartedplay said the airless football used as electricity power source when not in use, has a life span of 18 months before replacement.

According to Mathews, who studied psychology and economics in Harvard University, US, and taught herself electrical and mechanical Engineering because of her interest in the field, the motivation to invent the ball and skipping rope came when she attended a wedding in Nigeria and there was a sudden power outage.

“I am a Nigerian and was in Nigeria, it was my Aunt’s wedding and we lost power.

“How many times, is there anyone who has not been affected?

“For me I was raised to seek a solution when there is a problem. To be as creative as you can and be opened to different ways so you can address the situation,?? she said.

Speaking on why she chose to use football, she explained: “to me, we all know that football is the most popular thing in the world.

“To most people, football form is very convenient, any man on the street will be attracted to kicking football.

“So, the idea is to put something that people really love and get more out of it.

“These are the things we can use to see if we can amplify existing behaviour to bridge the gap between what is working and what is not working in this country that we love so much.

“We take our passion for sports that is so beautiful and we say okay, let’s give people renewable clean power that they can control.??

She said the innovation which had been accepted and already in use in the US will be affordable when mass produced and introduced into the Nigerian market

“Right now, if we are going to sell it here in Nigeria, it will be equivalent to what you will pay for a solar inverter.

“Right now, we have not started making them here, we are selling them in New York and in New York, we charge people a lot because it is New York,?? she said.

Aganga said that Mathews is an inspiration to every Nigerian especially children and the products is portrayed as made by a Nigerian for the World

?“The product is actually versatile, it is not just about the electricity you see, you can use it to charge your mobile phones, for fans so there are so many things for which it can be used.

“We are also looking at the possibilities of manufacturing it in Nigeria and see how we can make it cheaper in this country.

“I am glad that Jessica has also agreed to be our Ambassador in terms of promoting entrepreneurship in our universities.

“What we want to do is to bring successful entrepreneurs like Jessica to inspire the students and make them more creative so that they can also be employers of labour,?? she said.

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, said President Jonathan congratulated Mathews on her creativity and innovativeness.

“The President was particularly impressed that Jessica is multi-talented and that she developed herself in science despite that she is a psychologist and economist.

“It is a proof of the quality of human resource we have in Nigeria and the President proud of her,?? he said adding that the President assured that the invention would be used as a major tool to mobilise young children and encourage them to think more deeply.


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