Nigeria minister of science, technology and innovation, Ogbonnaya Onu, has identified nanotechnology as a key component of technologies for the migration of Nigeria’s economy from its present state into a knowledge-based economy that is capable of boosting the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and bridging Nigeria foreign exchange deficit.
The minister stated this while contributing on the renewed mandate of the ministry that incorporates innovation at the 5th international conference on Nanotechnology with the theme, ‘Nanotechnology in Africa: Changing the narratives for the benefits of mankind’ organised by the Ladoke Akintola University Technology (LAUTECH) Nanotechnology research group (NANO+).
According to Onu, the exploitation of Nanomaterials for national growth and development cannot be overemphasized, and therefore pledged that LAUTECH‘s centre of excellence on nanotechnology would be fully supported by the ministry as requested by the institution.
Onu who was represented by Mfom. E.J. Bassey, the director of chemical technology, Federal ministry of science, technology and innovation, noted that the memorandum presented by Agbaje Lateef, head of the research group at the 19th meeting of national council on science, technology and innovation to stimulate national action on nanotechnology was a step towards mobilizing efforts to full realization of potentials of nanotechnology through improved funding of nanotechnology research.
Mojeed O. Liasu, the acting vice chancellor (VC) of LAUTECH and chairman of the conference, said Nano+ has contributed immensely to the good image of the University and have impacted researchers from more than twenty institutions in Nigeria.
He identified with the milestones achieved by the group within seven years of its formation, and promised that the University would continue to support her aspirations; especially the need for the establishment of a centre of excellence in nanotechnology in LAUTECH.
The acting VC thereafter unveiled the three published volumes of the journal of the LAUTECH Nanotechnology Research Group, ‘Nano Plus: Science and Technology of Nanomaterials’. He was particularly happy that members of the group were in the majority of top researchers in nanotechnology in Nigeria, and changing the narratives in nanotechnology discourse.
Agbaje Lateef, a professor of Microbiology and head of the Ladoke Akintola University Technology (LAUTECH) Nanotechnology research group (NANO+), advocated for the establishment of a national agency for promotion and exploitation of nanotechnology for national growth and development in Nigeria.
Lateef stated this in a communiqué issued at the end of the 5th international conference on Nanotechnology with the theme, ‘Nanotechnology in Africa: Changing the narratives for the benefits of mankind’ organised by the Ladoke Akintola University Technology
(LAUTECH) Nanotechnology research group (NANO+).
The university don while highlighting the contributions of the research group to nanotechnology research and development (R&D) in Nigeria, urged the federal government of Nigeria to leverage on successes achieved by the group in the last five years to promote nanotechnology for national growth and development.
According to him, Nano+ workshops and conferences has been able to facilitate public discourse on nanotechnology to deepen its understanding, training of manpower and development of curriculum, and unparalled generation of knowledge in terms of publications on nanotechnology.
The group which has some Nano-based products as part of its accomplishments also established the first journal on nanotechnology in the sub-Saharan Africa, ‘Nano Plus: Science and Technology of Nanomaterials,’ which is an open access journal. “…at least five members of the group are among the top 12 researchers in nanotechnology in Nigeria through their articles that were indexed in Scopus between 2010 and 2020,” said Lateef.