Onu urges varsities to intensify research

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The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has urged Nigerian universities, other tertiary institutions and research institutes to intensify research and development into critical areas of science to improve humanity.

Dr Onu made this known on Wednesday when he visited the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, to inspect the made-in-Nigeria 500 KVA gasification plant manufactured from organic waste for electric power generation.

The minister lauded the innovation, adding that the key innovation came at a time when Nigeria is gearing up to actualize her dream of being an industrialized nation. He added that he was convinced, that in the nearest future the innovation will be patronized by individuals, captains of industries, the organised private sector, Nigerian government and foreigners.

Dr Onu advocated for the innovation to be inputed into the schools engineering curriculum, adding that the feat will improve youthful participation in Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) entrepreneurship.

In his words: “I encourage the establishment of multi-disciplinary teams of students to focus on generating electricity for off-grid and under-served locations in the country. This will attract many youths as entrepreneurs in the energy sector.”

The minister further said that his ministry will cooperate with the university on the laudable achievement, adding that the innovation is of great value to the nation especially in terms of environmental protection, waste management and wealth creation.

“This innovation has the great potential to help eliminate waste dumps in towns and cities in our dear country. This will help to create jobs and wealth, generate electricity to power our industrialization drive and help us clean our towns and cities so as to protect and preserve our environment”, the minister said.

Dr Onu stated further that his ministry, in collaboration with the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, have developed and are at the implementing phase of the National Methanol Fuel Policy, which is aimed at reducing gas flaring, improve electricity generation and supply, which according to him will add value to Nigeria’s immense gas reserves.

The minister announced the Federal Government decision to fund science, technology and innovation with 0.5% of the annual budget, which is in line with the latest African Union (AU) resolution on the development of science and technology in Africa.

Earlier the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria (UNN) Prof. Charles lgwe commended the Minister’s immense love and support for the school especially in the various Federal Government intervention programmes the university has so far benefited.

He therefore solicited the support of the Federal Government to enable them commercialise this innovation.

The director and team leader of the innovation, Prof. Emenike Ejiogu said that the invention was researched and manufactured in Nigeria with all the raw materials locally sourced.

The gasification technology is the convertion of organic solid waste to gas which can be used to generate power and others. He further disclosed that the gasification plant of the university is of global standard.

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