Academicians at the Lagos State University, LASU, have called on the Nigerian government to invest in scientific research to solve numerous challenges facing the nation.
The varsity Dons said this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the 5th Faculty of Science Conference in the University, with the theme “Cutting Edge Research: A Gateway to National Development”.
The Chairman of the Local Organising Committee, Professor Benjamin Aribisala, in his welcome address, said scientific research has brought about unquantifiable revolutions to all facets of human endeavours.
Aribisala, a professor of computer sciences, noted that “scientific research has greatly and positively influenced the way we think, quality of life, life expectance, the nature of governance, education, businesses and even our social engagements.
“One of the ways to appreciate scientific research is to imagine a world without Electricity, Computers, Cars, Mobile Phones or Televisions, such a world could be described as a complete desert, he said.
“The impact of scientific research is so great to the extent that it is a major determinant of economic viability of a nation, adding that “this has led to the assertion that countries with higher scientific breakthroughs generally have better education, better health and higher life expectancy. This suggests that any country with a clear vision to succeed should be ready to embrace and invest in scientific research.
Professor Aribisala said the current situation in Nigeria, most especially in the areas of economic stability, poor quality of education, insecurity, unemployment and political instability call for urgent attention. He, however, expressed dissapointment that little or no consultation has been made to scientific approach of solving these national problems.
Speaking with Journalists, on many problems confronting the nation and what Nigerian scientists are doing, Mrs. Adejoke Ibidapo, a professor of Parasitology, said scientific research requires a lot of funding.
She also lamented that money that could have been used to fund scientific research for national development were being looted by politicians.
According to her, “scientific research has a lot to do with financial backing and we also know what the government is facing concening money right now. Billions and trillions were being spent by individuals instead of channeling them to scientific research.
“Some universities have just resumed from strike all because we need better infrastructures. If you go to other universities, even for publishing you are encouraged, you are given something for your effort.
“More money should be channelled to national institutes and Universities for better equipment of laboratories that will encourage standard research which is key to national development, Professor Ibidapo said
In her submission, Professor Sena Bakre of the department of Microboiology, urged the federal government to increase budget in education and fund tertiary institutions, noting that materials and finance are the major problems affecting research.
Also, Professor Adenike Boyo of the department of Physics, who works on Solar energy, said electricity and lack of equipment are some of the challenges affecting standard research in Nigeria.
Speaking on how research can contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP, Professor Boyo said, “most of the research works end in the laboratory, noting that ”if there is a database of researches, most of the problems in Nigeria will be solved.
The professor of physics further revealed how Nigeria can generate so much revenue from the solar energy she is working on.
According to her, when the prototype is tested, replicated in rural areas, the innovation can also be exported to other other countries and this will increase GDP.
Earlier, the LOC Chairman, Professor Aribisala said the focus of the 50day Faculty of Science 2017 Conference is to bring academic scholars of our great country Nigeria and those of the leading nations of the world together to discuss the way forward in Nigerians’ national development. We hope to give researchers the platform to showcase their research findings, establish collaborations, develop new research ideas and identify the scientific approach and gateway to Nigeria’s national development noting that the faculty has received about 160 abstract submissions from various scientific disciplines
The keynote speech was delivered by Dr. Babak Kateb, Director and CEO of the Society for Brain Mapping and Therapeutics in Los Angeles, USA. via a video conferencing.