By Friday Idachaba, Lokoja
UNIVERSITY Don, Prof. Benjamin Mopah Dauda, has called on the Federal and State Governments to provide adequate funding for research in universities in the country to accelerate the nation’s economic and social development.
Dauda, a Professor of Polymer Chemistry and Technology at Federal University Lokoja (FUL) made the call in his Inaugural Lecture titled, “Polymer: Material Driving Technological Advancement”, in Lokoja.
At the lecture which is the 15th in the FUL Inaugural Lecture Series, the Polymer expert said Nigerian professors and scholars had the know-how to evolve innovations to address the nation’s economic and social challenges.
“Government must fund research in universities for economic and social development. We have the knowhow and we can synergize with colleagues in other fields to proffer solutions”, he said.
The University Don also called on the authorities of the Federal University Lokoja to develop Post Graduate (PG) programmes that would provoke researches that can address economic and social challenges of the Country.
He said that it would be such that “every year of the PG programme, students must publish at least one paper in reputable journal or Conference proceeding such that at the end of Masters or PhD programmes their work will be a compilation of these publications.”
Prof. Dauda who is also the Dean, Faculty of Sciences and Head of Department (HOD), Department of Industrial Chemistry in FUL, urged companies to partner with Universities to help solve processing problems and improve quality of their products.
“To this end, Nigerian Companies producing for global market should have their own Research and Documentation (R&D) units where they employ researchers to conduct research that will help improve processing and quality of products”, he said.
On the use of polymer in everyday life, the Professor of Polymer said the world is in the polymer age and every effort must be made to advance the technology of polymer to help the economy.
According to him, Humans use a staggering one million plastic bottles every minute adding that the plastic bottles and lots of other containers and casings are products of polymer.
“The vehicle of Information Technology (IT) and the Internet is the “Personal Computer”, more than 70% of which is Polymer. The science and technology of polymers must therefore tag along with developments in IT.
“Such industries as in IT, Transportation, Aerospace, Music, Textiles, Medical, Construction, Packaging, etc. are totally dependent on polymers.
“Chemistry forms the basis and starting point of Polymer Science but it also depends on other scientific study-areas such as physics, engineering and manufacturing”, he said.
On crude oil spillage and devastating effect on human, aquatic lives and revenue, Prof. Dauda called for more investigation and research into oil-sorbent that would address the menace.
According to him, investigation is required to explore the complex interplay between the newly developed oil-sorbent and other environmental parameters to obtain useful information on oil spill treatment in real situations.
He said that the Oil sector provides 95 per cent of Nigeria’s foreign exchange and 80 per cent of its budgetary revenue adding that annually, a total number of 16,476 spills occur and approximately three million barrels spilled into the environment in Nigeria.
Earlier in his welcome address, Prof. Olayemi Akinwumi,
Vice-Chancellor (VC) Federal University Lokoja (FUL), said that in our ever-evolving world, the importance of materials science and its impact on technological advancement could not be overstated.
The VC noted that Mopah-Dauda’s extensive knowledge, dedication, and pioneering research in the field of Polymer Chemistry and Technology have not only contributed significantly to the academic community but have also played a pivotal role in shaping the technological landscape of our society.