STI Minister Commends NOTAP, PZ Cussons’ Partnership

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The acting director-general, National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Dr. Idoreyin Imiyoho (left) and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Innovation, Science and Technology, Mrs. Esuabana Nko-Asanye (right) during the meeting in Abia State.

The Minister of Innovation, Science and Technology, Chief Uche Nnaji has commended the partnership between the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc in upgrading chemistry and chemical engineering laboratories of Nigerian universities.

Nnaji, represented at the commissioning ceremony of the newly upgraded chemical and chemistry engineering laboratory of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State by the ministry’s permanent secretary, Mrs. Esuabana Nko-Asanye emphasised the importance of this partnership in enhancing science education in Nigeria.

The minister highlighted that the upgraded laboratories will provide students with the opportunity to conduct essential laboratory experiments and generate research and development outcomes that could lead to the production of goods and services for the benefit of both the local community and the nation at large.

He pointed out that Nigeria’s abundant arable land and favorable climate should eliminate the need for food imports. He recalled Umudike’s history as a major food producer in the 1980s and encouraged the university community to leverage the state-of-the-art laboratory equipment donated by NOTAP and PZ Cussons to reclaim the region’s status as a primary food supplier for Eastern Nigeria.

The acting director-general of NOTAP, Dr. Idoreyin Imiyoho explained that the NOTAP-Industry Research Laboratory Upgrade (NIRLUP) project, initiated in 2014, aimed to bridge the gap between academia and industry. She emphasised the vital role of science education in driving progress and highlighted the significance of upgrading research facilities in Nigerian institutions to ensure credible research outcomes.

Acknowledging PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc as the only industry partner supporting research in chemical sciences and engineering, Imiyoho expressed gratitude for their commitment to enhancing research capabilities in Nigerian universities. She commended PZ Cussons for their responsible approach towards fostering socio-economic growth through strategic partnerships.

The chief executive officer of PZ Cussons, Mr. Dimitris Koistianis reiterated the company’s dedication to improving lives and contributing positively to society. He underscored the alignment of PZ’s vision with NOTAP’s objective of localising technical expertise and providing infrastructure for research. Koistianis affirmed PZ’s ongoing support for initiatives like the Industry Research Laboratory Upgrade (NIRLUP) and the NOTAP-Industry Technology Transfer Fellowship (NITTF).

In response to the upgrading of the laboratory, the vice-chancellor of the university, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe expressed delight over the enhanced research capabilities of the institution, emphasising its readiness to engage in critical research endeavours.

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