Onu calls for robust relationship between Energy Commission and Tertiary Institutions

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Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu has called on the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN) and Vice-Chancellors of Universities to develop an excellent working relationship through the Energy Research Centres, to promote Research and Innovation for Sustainable Economic Development in the country.

The Minister said this, during the meeting with the Vice-Chancellors of Host Universities of the Energy Research Centres under the Purview of Energy Commission of Nigeria on Tuesday, in Abuja.

Onu said that the meeting will further strengthen the relationship between the Energy Commission of Nigeria (ECN), the host Universities and the FMSTI for the purpose of promoting research and innovation in the energy sector.

He further stated that some of the Research and Development (R&D) outputs in the country have remained on the shelves in the centres without getting into the market, but through the annual STI Expo which has been taking place in the ministry.

He added that the Expo has helped to provide the forum where entrepreneurs, investors and financiers meet with inventors and innovators, thereby facilitating the commercialization of research output.

Onu also stated that the Presidential Executive Order 5 initiated by the Ministry, has equally supported local capacity participation in the procurement of Science, technology and Innovation components in the country.

The Minister commended the Energy Research Centres for their innovative outputs in areas of Energy Research Centres, which includes solar water heaters, solar crops, dryers, biomass digesters, solar chick brooders, solar PV systems for lighting, water pumping and many others.

The Minister said that both Research institutes and the host universities can benefit in many ways from one another through the review of operational guidelines of University-based Energy Research Centers, through the elimination of friction as well as facilitating effective working relationships.

He urged the committee to complete its work within one week of the inauguration.

Responding on behalf of the six Vice-Chancellors of Host Universities of Energy Research Centres, the Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin Professor Lilian Imuetinyan Salami appreciated the minister for the meeting, and said that the only way the country can grow is through STI development.

She added that the Youths should be encouraged to bring out ideas that can be incubated in the Universities.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Mr Edet Akpan Sunday, in his closing remarks read out the terms of reference of the Operational Guidelines for the University-Based Energy Research Centres under Energy Commission of Nigeria to the committee which include the following:

i. to review the operational guidelines of the University-Based Energy Research Centres funded and supervised by the Energy Commission Nigeria with a view to better enhance Energy Research and Innovation, eliminate areas of frictions and facilitate a smooth symbiotic working relationship between the host universities and the commission in no distant future.

ii. also to carry out the review and bring out how research officers of the commission can attain the rank of professors.