A scientist, Prof. Adekunle Amoo, has called on the Federal Government to fund researches in tertiary institutions to encourage science and technology-based innovations.
Amoo, a Professor of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) made the call in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
He said the new Ministers of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonaya Onu and Alhaji Mohammed Abdullahi should direct the agencies under the ministry to encourage local artisans and support innovative conferences.
The don said that the agencies should also be compelled to collaborate with tertiary institutions for sponsorship of researches.
He added:“There is need for the recognition of scientists as professionals by the government at all levels.
“This step will bring all the scientists together, foster the relationship between them, enhance good collaboration.
“ They will, therefore, be able to come up with very strong, reasonable and robust research outputs that will drive Science, Technology and Innovation in the country”.
Amoo, who is the President, Science Association of Nigeria (SAN) said youths should be encouraged to embrace and study science and technology.
He said that public and private organisations should sponsor science and technology debate and quiz competitions in schools as parts of their social responsibilities.
“There should be reintroduction of Natures-Corners in our primary schools.
“The government can make it compulsory for all the primary and secondary schools to have Science Clubs.
“Technology is applied science, meaning that, without science, there cannot be technology.
“Technology graduates are recognised as professionals and this encourages the study of technology.
“Therefore, to encourage youths to study Science, the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology should sponsor a bill to the National Assembly to recognise the science graduates as professionals,’’ he said.
Amoo disclosed that SAN had in July, organised its annual conference on “Perspective of Science in the Mitigation of Climate Change and Security Challenges in the country”.
Amoo said the association has also been organising career talks to secondary school students to encourage them to embrace science as career in the future.
“SAN is also collaborating with Science Teachers Association of Nigeria (STAN) to establish science associations in our secondary schools.
“We have donated chemicals and apparatus to some secondary schools for science practical before and during WAEC and NECO examinations.
“We have organised quiz and debate competitions among science students in tertiary institutions,’’ he said.
According to him, SAN has a journal titled; “Nigerian Journal of Science”, which has been publishing findings of researches carried out by the scientists in the country since 1958.
`There are a lot of discoveries by SAN members especially in the area of green science that will lead to the usage of renewable raw materials and produce eco-friendly products that will reduce the problems of climate change.’’
He said SAN, established in 1958 has made considerable impact on the growth of Nigeria’s scientific space.
“Over the last 58 years, many scientists in Nigeria have joined the association with specific purpose of making their contributions to scientific and technological development of the country,” he said.