Thursday, 7 May 2015

UNILAG Embarks On N39m Research Project

The University of Lagos (UNILAG) has embarked on a palynological research project worth N39 million to determine the status and effects of climate change on coastal regions of Lagos State. A pre-project workshop for the research, which is sponsored by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) National Grant Scheme in collaboration with UNILAG, held at the Julius Berger Hall of the university on Tuesday during which the requirements and progress of the project were spelt out.
Principal investigator of the project, Prof Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, said it would provide an alternative way for the Lagos State government to predict climate change in the state for the next 20 years, which would help in planning and development of the state.
He said: “This is our own contribution in determining the effects of climate change in Nigeria and Lagos State in particular. This is not somebody coming from abroad to now start modelling something for us. We are doing this one ourselves and this is the first time we are having a research like this in Nigeria and I want to say that the climate change summit of Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola, last year inspired this project.”
Ogundipe said the project would bring together scholars and students – undergraduates and postgraduates – from various departments of the university as well as related agencies across the country like the Nigerian Institute of Meteorological Science for a joint effort to get accurate statistics on climate evolution.
He said results of the project would help in regional planning, conservation and sustainability of the environment, biodiversity, issues of Greenwich areas in Lagos, as well as influence other state governments in the country to show more concern for the environment.
One of the principal researchers of the project, Dr Temitope Onumiya, a lecturer in the department of Botany, said the project is about using pollen grains and climatic data to assess changes that have occurred around the Lagos coastal environment over the years, through a comparison of vegetation that existed from the past 10,000 years to now.
She encouraged Nigerian higher institutions to expand their interests and involvement in research works that would promote the status of the nation and reduce the country’s dependency on developed countries.
She said: “For UNILAG, we are a solution-proving institution where we make research in order to help solve national problems. This is what every higher institution is expected to do. We are not just there to train people; we are also there to provide solutions.”
Speaking at the workshop, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Rahamon Bello said the project was one of two projects being funded by the TETFund in the institution and urged individuals and groups in the country to tap into the TETFund scheme to broaden their horizon.
He said: “There is no longer limit to research funding because even if the university’s research funds cannot carry your researches, the TETFund research grants and TETFund National Grant Scheme would lift you.”
He urged them to attend to more proposals and come up with their own research proposals to promote their career and the nation.


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