For Nigeria to derive maximum benefits from nanotechnology research, the government at all levels and stakeholders must increase funding to the education sector, just as it is also important to develop a road map for nanotechnology policy and development in the country, the Head, Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nanotechnology Research Group, Prof. Agbaje Lateef has said.
In a statement to announce the group’s 5th annual international workshop/conference on nanotechnology tagged ‘LAUTECH NANO 2021’, slated for October 26 to 28, 2021, with the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation, Engr. (Dr.) Ogbonnaya Onu, FAS, expected to address participants, the group implored 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.
He noted that research groups such as NANO+ that have distinguished themselves should be provided with centre of excellence in nanoscience and nanotechnology.
The conference, ‘Nanotechnology in Africa: Changing the Narratives for the Benefits of Mankind’ is expected to draw scholars, policymakers, and participants from within and outside Nigeria in agriculture, life sciences, physical sciences, environmental sciences, engineering, and medical fields to discuss research activities in the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology for growth and development of Africa. Participants will benefit from the wealth of experiences of speakers who are active players in nanotechnology research from Nigeria, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Malaysia, the United Arab Emirates, and Botswana.
The research group, headed by Prof. A. Lateef, a Professor of Microbiology in the Department of Pure and Applied Biology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, is comprised of dedicated scholars from the fields of Physics, Engineering, Biochemistry, Botany, Microbiology, and Zoology. The group has consistently organized workshops and conferences on nanotechnology since 2017; thereby making it one of the most productive research groups in Nigerian Universities. It has also issued more than thirty press releases in national and international media to raise awareness about the bourgeoning discipline of nanotechnology and its attendant potentials to solve myriads of problems confronting mankind. Some of her members recently x-rayed Nigeria’s contribution to nanotechnology R&D in the last decade with the view of charting a course for the country in nanotechnology enterprise.
As part of her leadership roles in nanotechnology pursuit in Nigeria, the group presented a memorandum to stimulate action on nanotechnology tagged ‘The rusty gold: Untapped advances in nanotechnology in Nigeria’ at the 19th National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation held 20-24 September 2021 in Abuja under the chairmanship of the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation. It canvassed for the creation of seed fund at the Federal Ministry of science, technology, and innovation to support innovative research in nanotechnology, sought for collaboration of the ministry with funding agencies, such as tertiary education trust fund (TETFund) and petroleum trust development fund (PTDF) to prioritize funding of researches in nanotechnology, while concerted efforts should be made to provide nanotechnology infrastructure in the country as it was done by the Department of Science and Technology in South Africa in the last two decades.
The group had earlier successfully organized the maiden National Workshop on Synthesis, Characterization, and Applications of Nanoparticles on 21-24 August 2017. The second international workshop/conference was on 23-25 October 2018 with the theme ‘Nanotechnology for sustainable development: prospects for Africa’, which attracted more than one hundred participants from thirty-five institutions in the country, while in October 2019, the group organized her 3rd conference tagged ‘Nanotechnology Applications in Africa: Opportunities and Constraints’ in which more than one hundred and fifty scholars from forty-five institutions attended the conference.
The 4th conference which was entirely virtual due to restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic held 26-27 October 2020 with the theme ‘Human Existence and Resource Utilization: Extending the Frontiers through Nanotechnology’. The conference drew participants from Nigeria, South Africa, Sierra Leone, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, China, Sweden, and the United Kingdom from more than fifty institutions and government agencies. At the conference, the flagship journal of the group, Nano Plus: Science and Technology of Nano-materials were unveiled by the Minister of Science and Technology, who was represented by Mr. Mfon E.J Bassey, Director, Chemical Technology, FMST, Abuja.
The activities of the research group have led to enormous contributions to knowledge in the field of nanotechnology through publications in top-rated journals and training of several undergraduate and postgraduate students in the burgeoning field of nanotechnology.
In furtherance of her cardinal objectives, the group invites research scientists, technocrats, captains of industries, policymakers, and exhibitors to her 5th workshop/conference on nanotechnology. The conference would be chaired and declared open by the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof. M.O. Liasu on October 27, 2021, at 10.00 am at The Great Hall, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso. The hybrid conference would afford physical and virtual participation. Further details can be obtained online at: www.lautechnanotech.com.