A university lecturer, Prof. Cecilia Olufunke-Akintayo, has advised the Federal Government to build modern chemical plants, capable of producing bio-based petrol chemical in place of conventional Premium Motor Spirit, (PMS).
The Professor of Industrial Chemistry, Federal University, Oye Ekiti, offered the advice on Sunday while delivering an inaugural lecture of the university.
According to Olufunke-Akintayo, the advice, if heeded, would solve the perennial problems usually faced by Nigerians and the government in processing the commodity and getting it distributed.
This, she added, would serve as alternative to petrochemical products which had often times post a threat to biolife and the environment.
Her call was coming, just as the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Shoremekun, lamented the poor state of petrol chemical and steel industries in the country.
Olufunke-Akintayo is also the Head of the university’s academic planning board of the university.
The don said in the lecture, entitled: “The place of plant oil derived products as sustainable replacement for petrochemical products in industries”, meant that Nigeria must look inward to solve her problems.
According to her, there is urgent need for paradigm shift from petrochemicals, which constitute biological hazards, to a sustainable alternative, where environmental impact will be reduced.
She explained that application of natural products could provide sustainable alternative to petroleum-based products through adequate and proper designing of bio-based products.
The professor also said that a transition toward bio-based products would also guarantee economic, social and environmental sustainability of the country.
She also urged government to shift from what she referred to as monolithic oil- based economy to a diversified one, based on systematic utilisation of raw materials.
She further advised government to invest more in research in universities, especially chemical research, which she said was the driving force of industrialisation.
Commenting on Olufunke-Akintayo’s lecture, Shoremekun commented her for a brilliant lecture delivery.
He said the thrust of her research focused on the need for Nigeria moving from over reliance on conventional petrol chemical products, particularly petrol to bio-based chemicals with less hazards.
”But the tragedy is that, the Nigerian oil industry has remained fixated since 1958 till date such that Nigeria lacks a viable petrol chemical industry
”This explains why the country has to rely on importing virtually everything, because the basis of industrialisation can be found on two platforms: Petrol chemical industry and the steel industry
”You all know what happened to the steel industry. What the lecturer has done is to project for us, a better, safe and sustainable environment,” he said.