From David Onwuchekwa, Nnewi

Experts drawn from academia, industry and government have declared that research and innovation synergy is the essential tool for wealth creation in Nigeria.

They made the declaration at the third International Conference of Faculty of Physical Sciences, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU), Uli Campus, Anambra State.

The event which attracted many keynote and guest speakers gave the resource persons the opportunity to address the audience on their individual fields.

Speaking on the theme of the conference, “Leveraging Science and Technology for Responsible Governance and Wealth Creation”, the former Minister of Power, Professor Chinedu Nebo said that technology played a fundamental role in the economic growth and transformation of any society, noting that countries that wanted to develop must invest significantly in science and technology, which he said included developing talents and human capacity required to compete globally.

Other keynote speakers, including the Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, (FUTO), Professor Nnenna Oti, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Administration, Professor Clifford Agu; Dr Keluo Chukwuogo; Vice President (Finance), Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Dr Sunny Nwachukwu; and the Special Adviser to the Governor of Anambra State on Creative Security, Retired Air Vice Marshal Chiobi, noted that important scientific researches done by various institutions should not be domiciled in the laboratories but rather be put to work and their benefits maximised in solving most societal problems.

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Earlier, while declaring the conference open, the Vice Chancellor of the COOU, Professor Greg Nwakoby, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor Academics, Professor Ellis Idemobi, said that the theme of the conference was timely and urged participants to utilise every knowledge garnered.

Earlier in a welcome address, the Dean, Faculty of Physical Sciences, COOU, Professor Osita Chiaghanam, called on the government to introduce streamlined platforms through which scientific research institutions could actualise their visions and missions.

In their separate remarks, the chairman on the occasion who is also the National President, Chemical Society of Nigeria and Dean, School of Post Graduate Studies, COOU, Professor Moses Chendo, and the Head of Department Geology, Professor Kingsley Nwozor, who is also the Chairman of the event’s Local Organising Committee, thanked the keynote speakers and participants for honouring the occasion.

Prof Nwozor had noted in his address that the conference was special in all ramifications being the first since the outbreak of Covid-19 which he said served as an amalgam of 2020 and 2021 conferences.

‘Politically, it is coming at a time of unnerving national security trauma coupled with gubernatorial electioneering campaigns in Anambra State with the concomitant realities and exigencies,’ he noted.

The conference was ended with award presentations to some notable educationists and industrialists among whom is Sir John Udeagbala, the President of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).