By Emmanuel Elebeke
The Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu has advocated that key innovation be inputed into the schools engineering curriculum to improve youthful participation in Science, Technology and Innovation entrepreneurship.
He also urged universities, Tertiary institutions and research institutes to further intensify Research and Development in critical areas of Science that can improve and positively impact human life.
The Minister gave the charge on Wednesday, when he visited the University of Nigeria Nsukka for a facility visit to inspect the made in Nigeria 500 KVA gasification plant manufactured from organic waste for electric power generation.
While, commending the innovation, Dr. Onu noted that “the key innovation came at a time when Nigeria is gearing up to actualize her dream of being an industrialized nation”, and expressed optimism that in the nearest future the innovation will be patronized by individuals, captain of industries, the organised private Sector, Nigerian government and foreigners.
“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 this 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,” he added.
Dr. Onu informed 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 and add value to Nigeria’s immense gas reserves.
The Minister reiterated Federal Government’s decision to fund Science, Technology and Innovation with 0.5% of the annual budget, which is in line with the latest AU (African Union ) 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 conversion 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.