* Vice Chancellor greets Ogun at 40
A Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB) don in the Department of Chemistry, College of Physical Sciences, Professor Ighodalo Eromosele, has produced paint from the seed oil of Ximenia Americana plant, commonly known as Wild Olive.
Eromosele, a Polymer Chemist, according a statement by the institution’s Directorate of Public Relations, said his new invention has qualities comparable to imported paints. Linseed oil, which is currently being imported for paint production, he noted, can be substituted with Ximenia oil.
He said: “Ximenia plant grows wild in the North. The exploratory research on the oil for the purpose of establishing its potential for paint production attracted the attention and funding of the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC). But beyond that, we have produced paint based on the oil in a systematic study by a Master’s degree student under my supervision, thus demonstrating the potential utilization of the oil in this regard. In my humble opinion, this is research for development, one of direct industrial relevance.”
Eromosele remarked, however, that the plant grows in the wild. “It is a wild plant. It is not cultivated and it’s not like having a vegetation of the plant. So, that remains another area that we have to look at, that is, how to grow the plant, particularly here in the southern end of the country or where it is best suited to grow, so that we can have a whole lot of vegetation to harvest the seed and then of course, the oil.’
The Don is however yet to get a patent for his innovation, “due to the fact that there is still a lot to be done by way of domestication of the plant, so that mass production becomes feasible.”
On value addition, Eromosele, whose research interests include ionic and free radical polymerization of vinyl monomers, polymer stabilization, local raw materials sourcing, local fibres, graft copolymerization reactions and environmental chemistry, disclosed that his research activities include production of metal soaps from seed oils and utilization of same for stabilization of Poly Vinyl Chloride (PVC).
On how the country and industries could benefit from research activities embarked upon in the nation’s universities, Eromosele said: “Our prayer is that the country would come to a level where there would be a synergy between the industry and universities or between the industry and Research Centres. For now, industries are disconnected from the Universities and Research Centres, the reason being that Nigeria has not grown to a level whereby we have defined objectives with regard to services from our institutions. Many people and governments still do not see the university as institutions established to provide certain services. The full potentials of the University still remain fully untapped in Nigeria. Yet, other countries develop on the basis of promoting research for defined national objectives. Universities in Nigeria are not tied to national development agenda, so this the first problem with regards to research output from the universities and how they translate into development of the society.”
FUNAAB felicitates with Ogun at 40
Meanwhile, FUNAAB’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olusola Oyewole has felicitated with Governor Ibikunle Amosun and the people of Ogun State on the gateway state’s 40th anniversary.
Oyewole said: “As our host state and partner in progress, the conducive and convivial environment has made it possible for FUNAAB to become a leading University of Agriculture in Nigeria and a budding world-class University, greatly impacting on the Gateway State, the nation and the world at large.”
According to a statement by the university’s Directorate of Public Relations, Oyewole, who also presides over the Association of African Universities (AAU), observed that the state, “under the able and focus-driven leadership of Governor Amosun, has been significantly transformed.”
The vice chancellor added: “the various projects being commissioned as part of activities marking the celebration, attest to the fact that Ogun State is truly experiencing the reward of good governance.”
Besides, Oyewole noted that since its establishment, FUNAAB has also not relented in making the state proud, “through its tripodal mandate of teaching, research and extension Services; as well as the robust Town and Gown relationship.
The military created Ogun state in 1976.