Minister attributes Covenant’s Global Reckoning to Science, Technology and Innovation Prowess
Nigeria’s Honourable Minister for Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, has attributed the rising profile of Covenant University in the comity of world’s universities to her excellence in the fields of Science, Technology and Innovation.
He made the remark at the recently held 3rd Covenant University International Conference on Science and Sustainable Development, organised by the Department of Physics in collaboration with the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Trieste, Italy and other partners.
The conference with the theme: ‘Science, Technology and Research: Keys to Sustainable Development’, focused on creating an excellent platform for cross-fertilisation of ideas among researchers, thereby stimulating innovative researches. It was in line with the strategic plan and vision of Covenant University to become one of the top 10 Universities in the world by the year 2022.
During his Keynote Address delivered by his representative, the Director General, Energy Commission of Nigeria, Prof. Eli Bala, the Honourable Minister Ogbonnaya Onu commended the organisers, stating that it was evident Covenant had not only realized that no sustainable development was possible in the absence of science, technology and innovation, but that partnership was essential for development to be achieved.
“No wonder Covenant University is included in the 2019 Times Higher Education World University Rankings as amongst the three (3) top Nigerian Universities, with it (Covenant) sitting at the apex, beating the two oldest universities in the country,” he stated.
The Minister commended the foresight of the founder of the University, Dr. David O. Oyedepo, also the presiding Bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide, in establishing a ground-breaking institution that has become the pride of Africa.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor AAA. Atayero, while appreciating the efforts of the conference organising committee, enjoined participants to make the most of the opportunity afforded by the conference to interact and synergise for more effective research collaborations and endeavours. He pointed out the need to improve on the quality of life by addressing the pressing challenges of Africa’s developmental processes, considering that the future of Africa and indeed the world lies with investment in research, leading to innovation and technological advancement.
During her presentation, the Lead Speaker at the event, Professor Christine Amory-Mazaudier, stated that Science in the general terms referred to the body of human knowledge, which entailed facts obeying objective laws and whose development required systematization method.
She posited that for the sustainable development of science, different aspects must be taken into account and these included science education, science research and respectful development of humans, nature and planet. Professor Amory-Mazaudier pointed out that since science was globalised, it was necessary that the scientists of all countries worked together.
The Dean, College of Science and Technology, Professor Kolawole Ajanaku, expressed his gratitude to the University Management for always supporting and encouraging good ideas and initiatives such as the ICSSD, thereby boosting the morale of faculty and staff to do more. He emphasised the need to focus on maximising the visions and objectives of the conference through deliberate and committed engagement, with the various sessions tailored to not only inspire scientific and technological advancement, but to bring about sustainability.
In his welcome address, the Head, Physics Department, Professor Ahzegbobor Aizebeokhai, expressed his delight with the response of the academic community to conference attendance and the call for papers so as to contribute their quota to the global discourse on Sustainable Development.
He stated that the importance of the conference lay in the fact that laudable global goals, especially as premised by Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), could not be fully realised nationally and globally without concerted input from Science and Technology, directly and indirectly, through quality research and innovation.
Professor Aizebeokhai said the SDGs were crafted by over 190 World Leaders in 2015, with a view to ensuring better quality life, peace and prosperity for all people as well as protecting and preserving our environment and planet in general. According to him, “This is because research and innovation in Science and Technology have always and will continue to play a pivotal role to achieving meaningful development (and thus sustainable development) in any society, both in developed and developing countries”.
A total of 215 papers were presented at the conference.