Nsukka (Enugu State) – Mr Emeka Okwuosa, the Managing Director of Oil Serve Ltd., on Tuesday said nanotechnology could be used to address the challenge of energy in developing economies to make it cheaper and safer.

Illuminated Joseph Disu Way, Badagry, with Street Lights courtesy of the Light Up Lagos Project, an initiative of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s Administration.

Okwuosa, whose company is the major sponsor of nanotechnology conference and workshop, said this in Nsukka on Tuesday during the 3rd African conference of Nanotechnology titled: “Nanotechnology: Key to National and Industrial Development”.

He said that nanotechnology scientists and engineers had been developing ways to make the use of energy cheaper and safer, adding that it could also be used to address the critical problems which developing nations of the world were facing currently.

“There are several applications of nanotechnology in the energy sector, particularly in developing countries to address such as heath, agriculture and energy supply challenges.

“Nanotechnology is being employed to make solar cells more efficient, cheaper and lighter,” he said.

He said that in agriculture, nanocapsules such as quantum dot could be used for crop protection to minimise losses of nutrients in fertilisation and improve yields through enhanced nutrients management.

“Nanotechnology can also help to mitigate environmental pollution as well as improvement in soil and water,” he said.

Okwuosa said nanotechnology remained the future of developing countries as it was vital to closing the gap between the western world and developing countries.

“Embracing of this technology will increase people’s standard of living as well as ensure sustained economic growth,” he said.

Mr John Chukwu, an Engineer and the Chairman of the occasion, said Nigeria could not be left out on the need to urgently embrace advances in nanotechnology because of the the inherent benefits the country would derive from its application.

“The country’s economy will benefit from implementation of nanotechnology in agriculture, energy and medical sector.

“Nanotechnology is predicted to be a key driver of the technology and business in this century.

“It is imperative to pursue, explore and attract the opportunity provided by nanotechnology for rapid industrialisation of the country,’’ Chukwu said.

Prof. Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice Chancellor of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Prof. James Ogbonna, said one of the problems of research in Africa was lack of industrial base resulting in research outputs being wasted.

“I am hopeful that at the end of this conference, something good will be realised in this regard,” he said.

Prof. Rose Osuji, the leader of UNN nanotechnology research group and chairperson of the Local Organising Committee said universities should be responsibility for building future human capital.

Osuji said that this would ensure that the country’s teeming youths were better prepared to effectively tackle challenges of the world “today for a better tomorrow’’.

“Current trends in research showed that nanotechnology has emerged as the latest frontier for the exploration of science and the development of new technologies.

“It is the desire of the research group to fast track development through human and infrastructural capacity building by reducing the gap between the developed and emerging economies,” she said.

NAN reports that participants from Russia, China and South Africa were among participants who attended the conference. (NAN)

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