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Don calls for heavy investment in lubricant industry


InvestmentA professor with the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Port Harcourt, Steve Odi-Owei, has called for heavy investment in the production of quality lubricant in the country.

The professor, who spoke on “Human Capital Development and Capacity Building in Lubricant and Lubrication at the Nigerian Lubricant Summit in Lagos recently, said that this would support effective operations of the manufacturing, marine, automotive and power sector.

According to him, the advancement in the manufacturing of machinery components with the attendant need for improved lubricants, require urgent human capital development and capacity building in lubricants and lubrication. “This reduction in size of machinery and yet with increased power demand, there is a corresponding increase in contact loads and stresses. This gives rise to innovative ways through surface engineering, novel material selection to increase the carrying capacity of the load-bearing contacts. In the past, lubricant selection was considered last in the design of engines. More recently however, lubricants experts take center stage in determining the final outcome of an engine before production. Lubricants and lubrication therefore play a pivotal role in the industrial development of this nation”, he added.

He said that science and technology must be seen as a development resource, and so requires sustained funding.

He noted that the paucity of research funding of science and technology is not due to financial incapability, but rather, an indicates the lack of appreciation of science and technology research as a main cornerstone for industrial and socio-economic development.

He explained: “Research and Development is the key to technological advancement. Current data on R&D in Africa, however, depicts a lack of commitment. Sub-saharan African contributes nearly 2.3 per cent of world gross domestic products, but is responsible for only 0.4 per cent of global expenditure in research and development. The African continent constitutes 13.4 per cent of the world’s population but contributes barely 1.1 per cent to the world’s scientific research community. The region has about one scientist or engineer per ten thousand people, compared with 20 to 50 in industrialised nations”.

Odi-Owei also called for a review in science and technology curricula of Nigerian universities so that the cost for training the young graduates would be reduced.

He said: “Institution development by the way of establishing state-of-heart laboratories is desirable, to make them centers of excellence. Such centers should be insulated from the attitudinal and bureaucratic weaknesses associated with public owned enterprises in Nigeria. They must be focused to meet international standards in management and professional output”.

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