Winner of the 2018 Prof Ayo Ogunye endowment chair in the sum of N1.5 million research grant, Dr Rasheed Owolabi has appealed to government to fund local research saying this is the only way to solve the myriad of problems confronting the nation.
Dr Owolabi, who spoke with reporters at the formal presentation of research grant award held at the Senate Chamber of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) lamented the nation’s continuous dependence on foreign researchers to solve our local problems and called for a change in this regard.
While lamenting the poor funding of the sector, particularly research, the university teacher who is from the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering department said, “ it is unfortunate that successive governments have failed to adequately fund research.
The most industrial process today started from the laboratory.
Government must put more money into research and see how the outcome will benefit the country.”
“We need a government that is more focused and believes in in research especially those coming from this part of the world. Until we lay more emphasis on that, then there might not be a way out.
There is too much dependence on research outcomes from foreign countries, this is wrong.
We should not rely on foreign researchers to solve our own local problems; they have their own local problems while we also have our own associated problems too, let us use the local resources we have to solve our own local problems; until that is done there might not be a way out.”
He explained that the research work titled, “Mechanistic empirical module optimisation and reactor” is to look at ways of generating alternative source of energy.
“It has been projected over the years that the fossil fuel we rely on in Nigeria may not be available in that quantity and volume again; the message is that from now we should start looking for an alternative source of energy.
It is energy that drives everything both in the transport and industrial sectors.
Apart from that, the associated emission coming from fossil fuel is changing the climate.
So there is a strong need for us to preserve the world for the future generation.”
Chairman, Board of Trustees, Prof Ayo Ogunye Trust Foundation, Prof Joseph Apeyi stated that the selection process was based on merit and commended the initiator for the gesture.
While commending Prof Ogunye for his positive contributions to the development of the sector, immediate past vice chancellor of the university, Prof Rahman Bello stressed the importance of research to the growth and development of the country.