Nigerians have been advised to invest in the research and propagation of polymer technology as a catalyst to fast-track industrial development in the country.
Speaking at the Polymer Institute of Nigeria’s 28th annual technical conference in Port-Harcourt, the National President of the institute, Prof. Paul Mamza said stakeholders ranging from the manufacturing, education and agriculture sectors of the economy must diversify and “move from overdependence on crude oil proceeds to investing in technology and industrialisation, if the country must follow the path to economic recovery.”
He also reaffirmed the institute’s willingness to assist the federal and other levels of government in actualising the urgent need to shift from a mono to a multi-product and technologically driven economy.
In a lecture titled, “Polymers and nanotechnology in the 21st century”, Prof. Sunny Iyuke, a lecturer at the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurun, Delta State and the School of Chemical and Metallurgical Engineering, Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa harped on the need for Nigeria to take a cue from the Chinese development model by investing massively in polymer technology. He opined that polymer technology is the future of sectors like Agriculture, education and manufacturing.
The event which was a convergence of some of the brightest minds from the academic sector succeeded in driving home a unanimous point: the fact that there is currently a revolution ongoing in the ways materials and products are being created and Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind.
Highlight of the conference was the conferment of the highly coveted and prestigious Polymer Institute of Nigeria fellowship award on the Minister of state for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Usman Jubril, Managing Director, Warri Refinery and Petrochemical Company, Abali Muhammad and Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa scholar, Prof. Emmanuel Rotimi Sadiku.
The event was attended by the top echelon of the academic community, including the Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, dignitaries from Ahmadu Bello University as well as some selected ivory towers from South Africa and Canada.