By Daniel Adegboyega, Morayo Koku, Andrea Umogbai and Fisayo Ogunwuyi
University of Lagos(UNILAG) has gotten approval from the Nigerian Atomic Energy Commision(NAEC) to kick off a nuclear engineering program.
The programme,to be jointly run by the faculties of engineering and science will deepen Nigeria’s drive for a robust nuclear energy education and equip student’s skills for technological development .
The Faculty of Engineering dean, Dr. Obanisola Sodiq, stated this during an interview with UNILAG Sun, revealing that the new programme has NAEC’s backup.
He explained that the University was part of the lucky few to be chosen from the geo-political zones across the country to commence the new programme.
“The Nigerian Atomic Energy Commission came to our university and said they want to establish a Nuclear education programme in the whole of Nigeria which we don’t have. So the commission selected some universities from each geopolitical zone to anchor the upcoming programme. University of Lagos was one of the universities,” He said.
Lamenting Nigeria’s long postponed joining of the programme, Obanisola noted that the programme would also be run by the Faculty of science and that harnessing nuclear power would be useful to overcome challenges of power outage and power consumption across the country.
Citing further benefits of nuclear energy, the dean said, “Nigeria has lagged behind in Nuclear science. In the developed world they have nuclear science. Of course,they don’t only use it for power, it is also used for war. If we are able to have nuclear power, the power failure would stop because nuclear power can give several megawatts that won’t fail. We can apply nuclear technology in agriculture and also in medicine.”
Speaking about his tenure as dean, he expressed his vision of raising a technologically driven leading faculty in Nigeria.
“We have world class professors and well acclaimed engineers. One of our professors in engineering designed a ventilator for COVID-19 for Lagos State which the state government has since adopted,”
“They’re trying right now to go into the production phase. This is the beauty of the engineering faculty in the University of Lagos,”the dean added.
He noted that the faculty was prepared for all the rapid changes in the engineering world as the COVID-19 pandemic met the faculty readily prepared as well.
He explained “Some of our lectures are being taken online, we’ve already been taking lectures online. Some of our professors have their own websites. Virtually all the engineers in systems engineering have their own website. They don’t depend on the university website except when it comes to official matters when we’ve to use the university website.”
Prof. Obanisola further remarked that government funding was a bane in achieving the goals of the faculty, adding that this limited what could be done in the faculty.
He however commended the goodwill of the university alumni in renovating certain infrastructure in the faculty, “We have the Faculty of Engineering Alumni Association… by virtue of their intervention they constructed the top block on top of the dean’s office. We have a webinar room which was donated to the faculty by the alumni.”
“We really enjoy the goodwill of the alumni and we have to appreciate them seriously,” He said.