The Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Effurun, Delta State, has unveiled plans to better Nigeria’s oil and gas sector.
Speaking during the unveiling of a blueprint for accelerated development of the institution which also coincided with his 100 days in office, the vice chancellor, Prof. Akpofure Rim-Rukeh, said the ivory tower would henceforth jettison what he called “scientific knowledge research for a product-driven one where the output would solve specific problems in the oil and gas sector.”
Admitting though that paucity of funds was a challenge, the administrator, however, said the hindrance would not slow the university down in its quest for excellence.
He challenged the academic staff to embrace the new thinking, adding that he had constituted a research grant committee to scout for funding.
“We want to move away from scientific-knowledge research to product-driven research. That is the approach we would henceforth adopt at FUPRE to make more contribution to the oil and gas industry.
“The studies that have been going on all this time are so minimal in the oil and gas industry, what we have been doing is just general revelation of scientific knowledge, not product-driven research. There have been researches to advance knowledge, but not product. So, the interest of this administration is to look at product in every research, for example. Why are we carrying out research on the level of pollution in the Niger Delta when we already know that the area is already polluted? What we should be looking at is what can be done to solve the pollution problem. For example, in a flare tap/point, we can install a catalyst at the tip, that catalyst will convert the nitrogen dioxide that is going to come from that flare and make it non-acidic. That is the kind of product we are looking out for. For example, charcoal is an absorbent that is why in a native environment, you can chew charcoal if you have cholera because the pores in charcoal absorb some of these poisonous materials and it works. So if we can get an absorbent put in water, it will absorb oil and we have solved a problem. We are no longer looking at the level of oil pollution, no, that’s what we call scientific knowledge research.”
He added: “We jettisoned coal as a source of energy because it is said to be dirty energy, and today we want to jettison petroleum because we say it is not environmentally friendly. We want to go to what is called green economy. Why can’t we clean up the pollutions and make them clean? So, that would be the approach of this administration.”