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VC underscores geophysicists’ roles in national, economic development

By Ujunwa Atueyi
07 July 2016   |   2:47 am
Vice Chancellor, Mountain Top University (MTU), Ogun State, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, has called on the Federal Government to engage the services of geophysicists in its quest for national and economic prosperity.

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Vice Chancellor, Mountain Top University (MTU), Ogun State, Prof. Elijah Ayolabi, has called on the Federal Government to engage the services of geophysicists in its quest for national and economic prosperity.

Presenting the maiden MTU Distinguished Lecture of the university entitled, “Relevance of Geophysics in the Present Economic Dispensation,” Ayolabi, a geophysicist said it was time the government looked inward to see how the nation can benefit from numerous economic advantages inherent in the field of geophysics.

He said while a geophysicist is one who explores and exploits the subsurface for the benefit of mankind; geophysics is an interdisciplinary physical science concerned with the nature of the earth and its environment and as such seeks to apply the knowledge and techniques of physics, mathematics and chemistry to understand the structure and dynamic behaviour of the earth.

He said with the Federal Government’s determination to diversify the country’s economy, which has been largely oil-based, “the mineral sector will be a high income earner for the nation as many minerals abound in the country, were largely untapped or are tapped by illegal miners. Geophysics is useful in exploration of metallic and non-metallic minerals.”

The pioneer Head of Department of Geophysics, University of Lagos (UNILAG), further explained that geophysics was also beneficial to the country’s economic development in areas such as anti-terrorism, anti-corruption, the environment, roads, solid minerals, employment and transportation, among others.

On how the practice of geophysics can aid President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-corruption war, the university teacher added that stolen money starched away in “soak away pits and underground rooms can be easily detected by geophysical tools. Geophysics also plays a role in curbing the activities of terrorists and criminals and in the unlocking of complex forensic issues such as detection of landmines and underground bunkers, identification of clandestine burials and detection of buried cache of arms.

“In the area of agriculture, it helps to determine soil fertility, soil moisture, irrigation through drilling of deep boreholes and monitoring of water table as well as improving Agricultural practice and crop yield for export earning and domestic food supply,” the don stated.

He added that “geophysical survey in investigation of housing sites will provide information that will diminish the flurry of building collapse across the country while it can also help in providing access to clean water, determination of ground water potential of an area, identification of dam site and determination of borehole sites as well as detection of safe-line water invasion in coastal areas.”