Oyo commissioner laments dearth of geophysicists in Nigeria

OYO State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Professor Adeniyi Olowofela on Wednesday decried the inadequate manpower in Solid Earth Geophysics in the Nigerian university system.

Olowofela, who is also a Professor of Solid Earth Geophysics noted that the nation had 158 universities, with population of geophysicists less than 2000; attributing the development to high cost of setting up geophysics research laboratories.

The University Don, however called on the Nigerian government and stakeholders in the education sector to urgently address the present challenge in order to exploit the financial prosperity nested in Geophysics

Delivering the 56th inaugural lecture of FUNAAB titled: ‘the use of innocuous geo (physical) tools in discerning the bowel of the earth as strategy for manpower development’, the commissioner revealed the uses of geophysics in developing manpower, enhancing safety against underground dangerous materials and economic development.

“As of 2018, the total number of universities in Nigeria is 158 with less than 2,000 Geophysicists in these institutions. For a population of over 170 million people, the intellectual ‘warehouse’ of this subject is abysmally low.

“If we can be creative and ingenious in our approach, as demonstrated in this lecture, we shall be able to produce quality and adequate manpower (in Solid Earth Geophysics) in the country and open ways to financial prosperity”, Olowofela assured.

Speaking on the role of geophysics to tackle underground dangerous materials, he observed that there are countries like Rwanda who after fighting wars, landmines are buried principally to destroy enemies but after the war, some of the mines are still active and can kill innocent people who step on it and explode.

The erudite scholar said to avert this danger, there is need for Thermography equipment which essentially detect buried objects from the surface . He explained further that drones with Thermographic equipments can be used to comb out dangerous materials from underground by the experts, adding that the military needs geophysical solutions to combat Bokoharam, and they can be taught thermographic methods to determine landmines.

Olowofela expressed gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Kolawole Salako, the Dean, College of Physical Sciences (COLPHYS) and the university community for the privilege given to him to deliver the institution’s 56th inaugural lecture.

In his address, Salako, had earlier described Olowofela as a Solid Earth Geophysicist per excellence.

Dignitaries that graced the event include: the Oyo state governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi who was represented by his Deputy, Otunba Moses Alake Adeyemo, cabinet members, heads of tertiary institutions, notable scholars, politicians, traditional rulers among others

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