Don Canvasses Mineral Resource Control As Key to Rejigging Nigeria’s Chemical Industry

Published On:

September 2, 2021

A Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Prof. Catherine Oluwayemisi Eromosele has canvassed for greater symbiotic collaborations between Universities, Polytechnics, Research Institutes and Industries as a means of promoting the Chemical Industry in Nigeria for national development.

The University Don who insisted that no meaningful optimization of the chemical industry can take place until the Federal Government heeded the strident demands for governance reforms to allow regions and states have greater control of mineral resources within their God-giving territories, stressed that the issue of mineral resource control in territories which they are endowed should be the overriding imperative for unlocking the latent creative energies of Nigerians for development and for uplifting the country to a pride of place amongst the comity of nations.

The erudite Professor and first female Deputy Vice-Chancellor, (Academic) of the University made this known while delivering the Institution’s 67th Inaugural Lecture titled: “Chemistry, Industry and Development.”

            Prof. Eromosele lamented that the Nigerian university system is already in a parlous state which has made the Ivory Towers a victim of poor funding, misplaced priorities of government and also a victim of political-economy that is challenged on several fronts.

            She said: “It is misleading and a misconception that tuition is free in Federal Universities, and funding by the federal government is unreflective of the aggregate funds for training of students. Lack of commensurate funding in this regard circumscribes the ability of the universities to deliver on the curriculum for the benefit of students.”

            She argued further that, “Non-commitment to funding by the Federal Government is also evident in the plethora of research Institutes saddled with specific mandates to engage in research for development ultimately to add value to the multiplicity of raw materials abounding in the country”.

            Prof Eromosele also called for the delivery of Chemistry Curriculum in theory and practice, in order to have a full understanding and appreciation of Chemistry as an empirical science.

            According to her, “There have been concerns about the quality of our university education, graduate employability and a perceived non-responsiveness of curricula to societal challenges and failure to meet the needs of industry.

            However, she maintained that a cursory examination of chemistry curricula across countries in the world shows no differences in scope and contents for training undergraduate students.

            She noted that there are some primal issues confronting the dispensation of chemistry curriculum in Nigeria, stating that a vast array of experimental chemical reaction processes that should promote hands-on experience for students, undergraduate and postgraduate has become inaccessible to them.

            Prof. Eromosele remarked that an assessment of activities in a chemical laboratory can be made from the status of the chemical store which is a reservoir of chemical reagents of both immediate and long-term needs, adding that the latter is important because often the exigencies of research could necessitate the need for chemical reagents not initially conceived for the project.

            While describing Chemistry as one of the most expensive programmes in tertiary institutions which is susceptible to financial distress, the Inaugural Lecturer stated that there is the need for access to research facilities against the background of paucity of funds, stating that it is a justification for the provision of central laboratory in higher institutions, in order to ensure commitment to its funding by the University Management especially in this country.

            According to her, “The need for access to research facilities against the background of paucity of funds is a justification for central laboratory in a university, ostensibly to warehouse such facilities which cannot be duplicated. However, it is reasonable to suggest that central laboratory should be made compulsory for each university to be accredited separately as an item, in order to ensure commitment to its funding by the University Management”.

            Meanwhile, in the light of the mismatch between available facilities and number of students, Prof. Eromosele proposed that admission and available learning facilities should be balanced ,in order to ensure that the learning objectives of programmes are not compromised, stating that the increasing demand for admission into public universities and increases in admission quota being granted have constituted a negating factor in their ability to deliver on the curriculum effectively.

            Prof. Eromosele  appreciated the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako and other Principal Officers of the University for their tireless efforts in making the University among the best, and commended them for their passion in ensuring that the University attains a greater height.

            Earlier in his Remarks, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako appreciated the Inaugural Lecturer for her efforts in stabilizing the University system and facilitating the take-off of the College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS).

            He disclosed that all the women who have worked with him in the University have had a moderating effect on him.

            Prof Sakako congratulated the Inaugural Lecturer  for her support and encouragement.

Last Updated on September 2, 2021 by FUNAAB

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