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Ogbonnaya Onu to headline 4th Nanotechnology conference by Lautech Nano+ group

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Ogbonnaya Onu to headline 4th Nanotechnology conference by Lautech Nano+ group

The minister of science and technology, Ogbonnaya Onu, will on Tuesday 27 October address the plenary session of the 4th annual workshop/conference on nanotechnology at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (Lautech), Ogbomoso, Nigeria, tagged ‘LAUTECH NANO 2020’.

The Nanotechnology Research Group (NANO+) is a frontline research group on nanotechnology in Nigeria. The conference theme, ‘Human Existence and Resource Utilization: Extending the Frontiers through Nanotechnology’ has been crafted in view of the current challenges imposed by COVID-19 pandemic which calls for rational utilization of resources to ensure the continuous existence of man.

According to organisers, the theme for this year’s conference is expected to draw scholars, policy makers and participants from within and outside Nigeria in agriculture, life sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, engineering and medical fields to discuss research activities that can engender development in through the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology.

Agbaje Lateef, head, NANO+ Group and Professor of Microbiology, said concerted efforts are needed to see to the realization of a national roadmap on nanotechnology and its proper funding in Nigeria.

According to him, for Nigeria to derive maximum benefits from nanotechnology research, government at all levels and stakeholders must increase funding to education sector.

The group calls on technocrats, industrialists, funding agencies and government to support its quest for innovative research in nanotechnology for the benefit of the nation and humanity at large.

The impacts of the global COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated that the LAUTECH NANO 2020 Conference be conducted via Zoom. Expectedly, the conference would be declared open by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Michael Olufisayo Ologunde on 27 October.

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Senate asks FG to effect 1% remittance into NASENI Account annually 

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Senate asks FG to effect 1% remittance into NASENI Account annually

The Senate has asked the Federal  Government of Nigeria to ensure remittance of 1% from federation account into the coffers of the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure ( NASENI) in line with the extant laws with effect from September this year.
The fortune came for NASENI when its Executive Vice Chairman, Professor Mohammed Sani Haruna made submissions on revenue projections of the agency for the 2021 budget before the Senate’s joint Committee on Finance and National Planning .
Professor Haruna in his presentation lamented that the agency had never received 1% remittance from the federation account as provided for by the 2004 National Assembly  Acts .

The Act according to him, stipulates that NASENI shall draw from the federation account, 1% revenue accruing to the the Federal Treasury beginning from year 2000 yet the agency had never received a dime from the federation account as stipulated by the law .

Prompted by the presentation, the joint committee led by Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola (APC Lagos West) asked the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) Ahmed Idris, to commence the disbursement of 1% allocation from the federation account into the covers for NASENI from September this year.

“The Act setting up NASENI was the Act of the National Assembly and the Accountant General of the Federation could not be allowed to flout the law .
“Therefore , since the AGF is here , please ensure that the executive starts implementation of the law from September this year because NASENI has potentials to develop and industrialise the Nigerian economy through the core mandates given to it by the extant laws” , he said .

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Space research/Development: Henceforth Nigeria will take the lead says Onuh

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Space research/Development: Henceforth Nigeria will take the lead says Onuh

By John Akubo

The commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria to upstaging it’s space research and development agency to take the lead in space exploraton for optimum benefits is sacrosanct, the Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Ogbonaya Onu has said.
The minister spoke recently at Kogi State University Anyigba where he commissioned the Laboratory Complex and Engineering Workshop building of the Center for Atmospheric Research (CAR).
According to him, “Nigeria cannot be indifferent to what is happening in space. As the developed nations are exploring space, we cannot be indifferent we cannot go to sleep and allow them do it and later we would go to copy. “No, we want to also be in the space. We want to be at the frontier of knowledge. We want to pursue knowledge as other nations are doing and there is very good reason to do so.”
He recalled the bitter experience in the past when some nations of the world explored the oceans of the world when very little was known about the oceans.

“Some nations decided to explore, navigate, to investigate and to find out what made the ocean.
“Our forefathers slept while they were doing that, they didn’t participate. What happened? As soon as the geography of the world was known, they knew the limits of the continent; where Africa started and where Africa ended but Africa was the second largest continent in the world bounded by two major oceans; the Atlantic, the Pacific oceans.”
He explained further that as soon as they completed that study it was like darkness covered Africa.
Onu said, “Today the world cebrates the Great Walls of China but if you go to Benin City the walls of Benin City are about four times the Walls of China. Yet we know that Africans were colonized, that between 1818 and 1885 a conference was held in Europe and not one African leader was invited and it was there the map of Africa was split in whatever way that they desired and what was the result?” He said the result was not acceptable to Africans as many of its strong men and women were sent into slavery and till today the effect is still there.
He asked rhetorcally whether Nigeria can wait while the space is being explored?
“Do we know what the consequence would be in the future? I don’t think we would wait, it is not advisable or wise for us to wait because that consequence will never be in our own best interest.
“This is why the Federal Government is determined to continue to support Space Research so that Nigeria will benefit tremendously from knowing what is in the space.

Onu indicated that through space research we will get to know a lot about science and technology that can be use in an average Nigerian everyday life and many of the things that are of very great interest to them.
He said there would never have been cell phones without space research.
“So we can’t afford not to participate in space research and development. So what it means is that we are committed to supporting NASRDA
“We are committed to making sure that all the research centers of NASRDA are upstaged for better results, that we would do our best not minding that we have very limited resources.”
He said the President Buhari led Government came at a time that the nation’s revenue had dwindled to about 40% of what it used to be which led it into a recession.
“But we are coming out of it and we will come out of it and we would do more on research and development and that is why we are supporting the center for Atmospheric research .
Director General/chief executive of the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) Professor Seidu Onailo Muhammed said the center is specifically mandated to provide a sound education, research and knowledge in lower atmosphere; upper atmosphere (Ionospheric/Magnetospheric physics); Atmospheric chemistry and Enviromental science.
Other areas are he said Geomagnetism; Enviromental research; Tropospheric Radio propagation esearch; Solar physics, Solar terrestrial Interactions, Space weather, human space Technology Initiative; space debris etc.
According to him, the center is a world class research and Development Center that is similar to other research centers all over the world.
“It is committed to research and capacity building in Atmospheric and other related Sciences.”
The center he said is dedicated to understanding the atmosphere, the air around us and the interconnected processes that make up the earth system, from the Ocean floor through the Ionosphere to the Sun’s core.
“It thus provides research facilities and services for the Atmospheric and earth Sciences community.
He listed some of the achievements of the center within its short existence to include the study it conducted on the cause, impact and mediation of the 2012 flood over Nigeria which has prevented further flood induced damages to salvage the live of the people and save the country huge financial implications.
“Secondly, results from soil moisture variation studies carried out by the center are veritable tools for enhancement of food production.
“On global scale space weather Study by the center has put Nigeria on the global map of countries with such expertise and has greatly enhanced global data repository especially along the equator with it peculiar characteristics.”
Muhammed indicated that their research studies have also contributed to a safer air travel system and better security for space assets.
The contribution he said has been recognized by the global community that has led to several contributions and donations of research faculties worth ever all millions of dollars.

The Director reported a support from Japanese government and American institutions to the center worth over four hundred thousand dollars in the last three years.
He said, “The center is located in Anyigba, Kogi State as part of the vision of NASRDA to have at least a center in each of the geopolitical zones.

“The serenity of Anyigba town for such rigorous research activities provide by the presence of a world class university which provides the conducive enviroment at all time.”
He said the commissioning ceremony marked the end of the infrastructural development of the center and the beginning of the second phase which will include the Administrative block and ground existing Station to make the possible for the installation of required equipment by the center for the research activties. The Director General commended the ministry for its revoltionary break through in science and technology subsection in Nigeria expressing the optimism that the second phase of infrastructural development will recieve similar attention.
In conclusion he said, the agency has put the country on the global map of space faring nations.
“We will not rest on our oars until we deliver a Nigeria where space science and technology becomes one of the main tools for socioeconomic development.”

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