Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
Oyo State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Prof. Adeniyi Olowofela, has mentioned the need for Geophysics to avert dangers inherent in burying of dangerous nuclear materials like landmines as trap for enemies during and after wars and importance of Geophysics to avert the dangers.
The Commissioner stated this, on Wednesday, while 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’.
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 Boko-haram, and they can be taught Thermographic methods to determine landmines.
Olowofela, who is also a professor of Solid Earth Geophysics decried the inadequate manpower in Solid Earth Geophysics in the Nigerian university system.
According to him, the nation with 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 and revealed the uses of geophysics in developing manpower, enhancing safety against underground dangerous materials and and to engender 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.
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, The Vice Chancellor earlier described Olowofela as a Solid Earth Geophysicist per excellence.
He added that his lecture has given a better understanding to relevance of Geophysics and its capability to create wealth through tapping into God given mineral resources available underground.
Dignitaries that graced the event included Governor 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.