Senator calls for increased funding for science, technology in Nigeria

Senator, representing Anambra Central and Chairman Senate Committee on Science and Technology, Uche Ekwunife, has called on the Federal government to invest more funds into the development of science and technology sector in Nigeria.

She made this call while commending some agencies of the Ministry of Science and Technology for their innovative products to help curb the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria and improve healthcare delivery.

“Nigeria is blessed with a lot of professionals and experts in the field of science and technology, whose expertise, when properly harnessed, would help in dealing with the adverse effects of this global pandemic on our citizens,” she said.

The senator pointed out that Nigeria has some of the world’s best researchers, scientists and experts, who given the right environment and adequate infrastructural support, can maximize our proficiency in STI and increase our operational efficiency, adding, “a developed science and technology sector in Nigeria would go a long way in ameliorating the hardships being suffered by Nigerians as a result of this global shutdown”.

She disclosed that some agencies of the Ministry of Science and Technology like the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), and the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA), have already risen to the occasion by manufacturing products, which when fully deployed, will help curb the spread of COVID-19 and other contagious diseases in Nigeria.

“For instance, the National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), has produced a prototype of the “NASENI Safety Tunnel” in two different models, both of which are capable of automatically dispensing disinfectants up to 450 persons per hour, who walk through the tunnel.

“These safety tunnels should be installed at the entrance to every public building and places of public gathering to disinfect people entering the buildings and reduce the spread of COVID-19 in public places.

“NASENI has also produced the NASENI Disinfectant Delivery Device, equipment, which can be mounted on a tricycle, Hilux pick up or van, and can be used to disinfect outdoor areas, especially the interior parts of public office premises. Such disinfecting exercise would need to be conducted regularly in public buildings to further curb the spread of this disease.

“NASENI also produced a Mobile Mechanical Ventilator, which can eventually be deployed to all COVID-19 treatment centres and used to supplement the ventilators in use at the centers.

“Another agency, the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) also produced NASRDA Tele Mobile Clinic, a one-stop medical kiosk designed to help deliver quality health care services to patients in remote areas and rural communities. It utilizes satellite technology, video conferencing system, digital medical tools and solar power as the source of energy. “It will also combine mobility with video communication, instant access to electronic medical record, and provide patients in remote areas with timely access to medical professionals in urban areas.”

Sun

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