Green revolution: FUOYE don tasks govt on alternatives to PMS, others
Wole Balogun, Ado Ekiti
A Professor of Industrial Chemistry at the Federal University Oye Ekiti, Ekiti State, Prof. Cecilia Olufunke Akintayo, has urged the Federal Government to put up modern-based chemical plants that would assist in producing bio-based chemicals.
Akintayo said this would serve as alternative to petrochemical products which have been a threat to the environment.
This was just as the university Vice Chancellor, Prof. Kayode Shoremekun, lamented the poor state of petrochemical and steel industries in the nation.
Akintayo, who is also the head of the school’s academic planning board, made the call in a maiden inaugural lecture, entitled: ‘The place of plant oil derived products as sustainable replacement for petrochemical products in industries’, delivered at the weekend, in FUOYE.
She said there is need for a paradigm shift from petrochemicals, which constitute biological hazards to a sustainable alternative, where environmental impact would be reduced.
The don added that application of natural products can provide sustainable alternative to petroleum based products through adequate and proper designing of bio-based products.
Akintayo opined that a transition towards bio-based products will guarantee economic, social and environmental sustainability.
She, however, urged the government to make a shift from monolithic oil-based economy to a diversified one based on systematic utilisation of raw materials.
Speaking further, Akintayo said adequate priority needed to be given to bio-based chemical plant, taking cognisance of the social benefits attached to it.
She urged the government to take it as a national project, saying what local chemical needs is an urgent requirement for bio-based economy and which is good for national prestige.
This, she further said, would have multiplier effects on the economy, noting there will be rise in industries, reduction of unemployment and stabilised economic recession.
On his part, Shoremekun said: “The thrust of Akintayo’s research is the need for the country to move away from our reliance on petrol chemical products, particularly petrol, and begin to rely on bio-based chemicals that are less hazardous; but, the tragedy is that the Nigerian oil industry has remained fixated since 1958 till date, such that Nigeria lacks a viable petrol chemical industry.
“This explains why the country has to rely on importing virtually everything because the basis of industrialisation can be found on two platforms: Petrol chemical industry and the steel industry.”
“You all know what happened to the steel industry. What the lecturer has done is to project for us the future where she is hoping the country would not lose that third platform.”