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Onu deplores erosion threat at Enugu research institute

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Ogbonnaya Onu


• Ebonyi indigenes in Diaspora fault transfer of varsity to Catholic Church

Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has lamented gully erosion threat at the Ekulu workshop of the Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, saying the development is a challenge to the realisation of the mandate of its establishment in the area of research and production.

Onu, who spoke, at the weekend, in Enugu after inspecting PRODA facilities at the Ekulu area of Enugu, said that efforts must be made to salvage the development in view of the level of equipment at the place.

He said: “I felt very sad because in those buildings one finds very sophisticated equipment that Nigeria needs in our march to industrialisation of the country and I just couldn’t believe that it was possible to allow that degradation within the premises to take place.

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“So, we believe very strongly that those facilities at Ekulu could be put to use because it is so much money lying waste and we cannot afford to have that in the country because we need to put every facility we have into use. I believe very strongly that this would be achieved.”

The minister disclosed that most of the agencies and institutes under the Federal Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation are primarily concerned about research but added that PRODA had been mandated not only to conduct research, but also to assist Nigeria in effective production.

He, therefore, charged the institute to not only conduct research, but to also ensure that research findings are converted into products and services.

Earlier in an address, the overseeing Director-General of PRODA, Enugu, Fabian Okonkwo, said that the erosion menace that struck and affected PRODA production activities at Ekulu workshops gave rise to the relocation of some units to the headquarters at Emene Industrial Layout, Emene, Enugu.

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Okoronkwo said that PRODA intends to collaborate with private sector and some universities to develop the centre as one of the six skills acquisition centres approved by the President for implementation under the Presidential Executive Order 5 for the success of the government’s competitiveness strategy.

MEANWHILE, the Association of Ebonyi State Indigenes in Diaspora (AESID) has faulted the hand over of King David University of Medical Sciences, Uburu, to the Catholic Church, saying that it could be a recipe for conflict among religious denominations in the state.

AESID, led by its President, Paschal Oluchukwu, wondered why Governor Dave Umahi made the pronouncement, which could pitch the adherents of the Catholic Church with those of Presbyterian Church in Ebonyi State.

The association, in a statement, maintained that if the situation is not properly managed, it could lead to animosity between the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, who had claimed ownership of the new varsity and the Catholic Church.

It also contended that no law permits Umahi to build such a massive edifice with millions of unaccounted public funds and hand same over to a people of a particular faith in a multi-religious society.

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