In Honor of World IP Day: 16 Nigerian Inventors You Should Know!

Image Credit: © Claudia Paulussen |

NLIPW Patents Law Volume 1 Number 5


(Nigerian Inventors)

April 26, 2013

Every year, on April 26, innovators, inventors, visionaries, scholars and countries from around the world celebrate World Intellectual Property Day! The theme for this year’s celebration is Creativity – the next generation and it celebrates the talented and ingenious creators and innovators who are imagining how the world will be tomorrow. In line with this year’s theme, we are highlighting 16 Nigerian inventors who have contributed to development in various fields worldwide.

1.   Saheed Adepoju

SAHEED ADEPOJUCredits: He is the inventor of the INYE-1 & 2, tablet computers designed for the African market.

Bio: Saheed is the Co-founder of Encipher Limited, a Nigerian-based technology company that introduced the first android-powered tablet into Nigeria. The INYE-1, which was unveiled in April 2010 is a 7-inch resistive screen tablet. It runs android 2.1 and allows users to connect to the internet using its inbuilt WIFI card and to use an external 3G modem from GSM networks. It offers about 3 hours of battery life and allows HDMI output to HDMI capable devices.

INYE-2, which was unveiled in May 2011, is an 8-inch capacitive screen tablet. It runs Android 2.2 and allows users to connect to the internet using its inbuilt Wi-Fi card as well as its inbuilt SIM. It offers about 8 hours of battery life and allow users to connect to other USB devices.

~Watch Saheed’s interview on BBC News~

2.   Seyi Oyesola

SEYI OYESOLACredits: He is credited with the co-invention of CompactOR or the “Hospital in a Box”, a solar-powered life-saving operating room which can be transported to remote areas of Africa and set up within minutes.

Bio: Seyi is a Nigerian trained doctor and inventor.  He received his basic science and medical education at the University of Lagos, Nigeria, with specialist training in Anaesthesia and Critical Care in the United Kingdom and United States. In order to help bring surgical care to every region of the continent, Seyi co-developed CompactOR, or the “Hospital in a Box”: a portable medical system that contains anesthetic and surgical equipment. One major advantage of this invention is that the operating suite is light enough to be dropped into inaccessible zones by helicopter and it can be powered by solar panels.

~Watch Seyi’s presentation on

3.   Jelani Aliyu

JELANI ALIYUCredits: He is credited with designing General Motors’ leading auto brand, Chevrolet Volt.

Bio: Jelani was born in Kaduna State, Nigeria in 1966. He originates from Sokoto State, Nigeria and earned an associate degree in Architecture from Birnin Kebbi Polytechnic in 1988. Upon graduation from the Polytechnic, Jelani worked at the Ministry of Works, Sokoto before pursuing additional education in the United states. He graduated in 1994 with a degree in Automobile Design from the College for Creative Studies, Detroit, Michigan and was hired by General Motors.

~Watch a brief interview with Jelani~

4.   Ndubuisi Ekekwe

NDUBUISI EKEKWECredits: He is credited with the development of microchips used in minimally invasive surgical robots

Bio: Ndubuisi is the founder of First Atlantic Semiconductors & Microelectronics Ltd. He holds a U.S. Patent on a microchip used in minimally invasive surgical robots and was part of the team that created XL sensor inside the iPhone and iPad.

~Watch Ndubuisi’s presentation at A Better World by Design Conference ’10 ~

5. Col. Oviemo Ovadje (Rtd.)

Credits: Oviemo is a Nigerian medical Doctor who is credited with the invention of the Emergency Auto Transfusion System (EAT-SET), which is an effective, low-cost and affordable blood auto-transfusion mechanism that saves patients in developing countries. He has patented the invention in nine (9) countries.

Bio: Oviemo was born in Nigeria and hails from Delta State. He began working on the invention in 1989 with $120 dollars. In 1995, he was declared best African scientist and founded EATSET Industries, in April 2001.  The United Nation Development Program (UNDP) and the government of Nigeria funded the EAT-SET Project, with the World Health Organization (WHO) acting as the executing agency and providing assistance in the coordination of the project.

He has received many international awards including:

  • OAU-WIPO Best African Scientist Gold Medal, Geneva Switzerland (1995);
  • Winner Promex Medal Geneva, Switzerland (1998);
  • First African Winner World Health Organisation Sasakawa Gold Medal, Geneva, Switzerland, (2000);
  • Winner ARCO Gold Medal, The Dorchester, UK, (2001);
  • Winner Army Council Medal, Nigeria Army, Army Head Quarters, Abuja, Nigeria.

~Watch Oviemo’s interview~

6.  Cyprian Emeka Uzoh

Credits: He holds more than 126 United States issued patents and over 160 patents worldwide in semiconductor technology including U.S. Patent No. 6709562, “method of making electroplated interconnection structures on integrated circuit chips”, which earned him the inventor of the year award in 2006 from the New York Intellectual Property Association.

~Click here for a list of Cyprian’s patents~

7.   Kunle Olukotun

Credits: He is well known for leading the Stanford Hydra research project which developed one of the first chip multiprocessors with support for thread-level speculation (TLS).

Bio: Kunle is a Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Stanford University. He received his Ph.D. in Computer Engineering from The University of Michigan. He is the founder of Afara Websystems (later acquired by Sun Microsystems), a company that builds servers surrounding a custom high-throughput CPU architecture and develops IP traffic management systems for high-throughput, low power server systems with chip multiprocessor technology.

8.  Sebastine Chinonye Omeh

Credits: He is best known for his research into the use of wind-propelled turbines to generate electricity.

Bio: Sebastine is the Managing Director of Hybrid Micro Machine Products Limited. He is from Ogrute town in Igbo-Eze North Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria. He is a graduate of engineering from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Challenged by the energy crisis in Nigeria, and the need to develop indigenous technology he conducted research into the use of wind-propelled turbines to generate electricity, thereby pioneering wind energy technology in Nigeria.

9.     Shehu Saleh Balami

Credits: He is credited with designing a solid-fuel rocket.

Bio: Since year 2000, Shehu Balami, a Nigerian Engineer has been involved in designing rockets. He is a graduate of Mechanical Engineering from the Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna, Niger State. He has produced two solid fuel rockets which were launched along the new Kaduna Millennium City Road in Kaduna State.  In 2008, with the support of his friends and family members, he was able to build his first rocket which he later modified in 2011. The solid-fuel rocket was produced under the auspices of the Movement for the Propagation of Science and Technology in Nigeria.

10. Yemi Adesokan

Credits: He was selected by expert judges of the Technology Review of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the United States of America for his discovery work on drug-resistant infections. He was honored by the MIT in 2011 because of his innovative work.

Bio: Yemi is a Nigerian born and United States-based founder of Pathogenica Inc. Medical experts are of the view that his innovation may bring an end to the problem of drug resistance in the world particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa. His discovery work was carried out by a biotechnology start-up that he founded with Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School DNA technology.

11. Ume Ifeanyi Charles

Credits: He is credited with five (5) inventions all of which were patented at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). These are:

Bio: Ifeanyi is a professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. He is a recipient of the Donald P. Eckman Education Award in recognition of his contributions towards education of mechatronics throughout the world. In 2010, he was also awarded the Electronics and Photonic Packaging Division (EPPD) Excellence in Mechanics Award.

12.  Aloysius Anaebonam

Credits: He holds about 12 U.S. Patents including the following:

  • Terfenadine oral powder, Patent number: 5455049, October 3, 1995.

    Bio: Aloysius holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka and M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Pharmacy from the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy, Boston Massachusetts. He is the Founder & Chief Scientist of BREEJ Technologies, Inc., a developer and marketer of advanced treatment cosmetics products for problem skin.

13.    Mohammed Bah Abbah

Credits: Although he holds no patent on this invention, he is credited with taking on the challenge of making accessible the “pot-in-pot refrigerator” or “zeer”, a refrigerating device that does not use electricity, to people in rural areas. He is a recipient of the Rolex Award for Enterprise, an award that provided $75,000 which Mohammed used to produce and distribute his invention in 11 northern states in Nigeria.

Bio: Mohammed developed his pot-in-pot refrigerator by combining the knowledge he had gained from his grandmother’s craft of traditional pottery with simple laws of physics. He followed up on the idea by placing food in a small pot, which is then placed in a larger pot. The space between the two is filled with moist sand and a wet cloth cover is used to cover the whole set up. As the water in the moist sand evaporates through the larger pot, it carries heat away from the inner core of the whole set up.

Mohammed holds no patent on this invention because the pot making business is not new. What is novel is the fact that he set up a local production facilities to provide the pot-in-pot for the cost of $2 (N320) for the smaller pot-in-pot refrigerator and $4 (N640) for the bigger versions. The invention allows perishable food to extend their spoilage rate. For example, meat can be stored in it for up to two weeks instead of a few hours.

14.  Olu Atanda

Credits: He is credited with the co-invention of a self-lubricating layer for a data-storage device and disk and holds the following patents at the USPTO.

15. Brino Gilbert

Credits: He is credited with the invention of the Counter Collision Gadget (CCG), a device that has the capacity to prevent accidents on the road, air, sea and rail. The invention earned him many awards including a bronze medal in the Aerospace/Aeronautics category at the May 2003 edition of the Invention and New Product Exposition (INPEX) in the United States. He also received a silver medal in the manufacturing category and a trophy for being the best invention from Africa in the continental category

Bio: Gilbert is a Nigerian physicist from Edo State. He spent 10 years seeking government attention for his research and approached several groups and individuals for sponsorship. His vision is to make CCG exportable to many countries of the world.

16.  Emeka Nchekwube

Credits: He is credited with the co-invention of the following:

  • Hypoestoxides, derivatives and agonists thereof for use of antiparasitic agents Patent no. 6242484

Bio: Emeka  Nchewube is a Nigerian-born Neurosurgeon who currently lives and practices in the United States. He was born in Lagos, Nigeria and earned his Bachelors degree in chemistry from Central Michigan University. He attended Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit where he also finished his Neurosurgery residency. He is board certified by the American Board of Neurological Surgeons and is a member of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons. He is also a member of the San Jose Surgical Society, the American Medical Association,  and the California Association of Neurological Surgeons.

Other Notable Nigerian Inventors Include:

♣Dr Philip C. Njemanze     ♣Damian Anyanwu     ♣ Dr. Isa Odidi

♣Professor Ernest Izevbigie   ♣Professor Francisca Okeke

This article has been amended as of December 11, 2015.

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About Ufuoma Akpotaire 311 Articles
Ufuoma is a Senior Editor and Director of Regulatory Policy at NLIPW. She assists clients in the protection of copyrights, trademarks and patents. She counsels clients regarding validity and infringement matters and has experience acting against the infringement of IP and addressing counterfeit issues. She holds a Masters degree (LL.M.) from Columbia Law School, New York and a law degree from the University of Nigeria (LL.B. Honors). She is admitted to practice law in Nigeria and in the State of New York. Ufuoma cut her teeth in the intellectual property practice groups of some of the largest law firms in Nigeria and has years of experience working with major non-profit organizations in New York. Email: