A Nanotechnology Research Group (NANO+) said that leveraging on Nanomaterials would help the country achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Head of the group, Prof. Agbaje Lateef said this on the sidelines of their 6th Annual Conference organised by Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomoso(LAUTECH),in collaboration with the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA).
Holding from Nov. 22 to 25, the conference was with the theme: “Nanotechnology for Socio-Economic Development of Africa”, and was targeted at Postgraduate students and early career scientists, researchers.
“Nanomaterials are exploited in all facets of human endeavours and the applications increase daily.
“There is the area of food and agriculture, health, industries, engineering, environment, security and defence, water, energy, sport, and consumer products,services.
“They represent potent tools that can be used to deliver on the SDGs of the UN,” he said.
Lateef further said that the impact of nanotechnology on economic development was huge.
According to him, with an estimated worth of $3trillion in 2020, provision of about six million jobs, it has been predicted to account for ten per cent of the world’s GDP by 2030.
Lateef said: “Africa must not watch the unfolding scenario that nanotechnology presents because the time to act is now.”
He added that the NANO+ group,formed in 2014 had made contributions to promote nanotechnology Research and Development (R&D) in Nigeria.
Lateef said that they had mentored students and academics in more than twenty universities and other institutions in Nigeria and beyond.
“We have expanded the outreach of nanotechnology discourse to students of primary and secondary schools.
“Members of NANO+ remain the most prolific in nanotechnology R&D in Nigeria having published more than 150 articles in various areas of nanotechnology since 2015.
“We have developed nano-based products, nanopaints, nanotextiles, nanopesticides, nanobiocides, nanofertilizers, nanoadsorbents, nanofilters,among others,” Lateef said.
He hoped that their efforts and those from other sister research groups on nanotechnology could be complemented by the government and relevant institutions.
Lateef further said they could be supported by providing them with policy guidelines on nanotechnology R&D in Nigeria and a dedicated capital to develop nanotechnology infrastructure.
He decried that Nigeria began the Nanomaterials development discussion with South Africa (SA) in 2006, but presently the country had moved to translational research.
“For us, as a nation, we need to move faster to benefit from the fruits of nanotechnology.
“Iran, despite all manners of sanctions, realised $550 million from nanotechnology enterprise in 2020, with a projection of $1 billion by 2025.
“I therefore call on the Federal Government to finalise the passage of the nanotechnology policy on nanotechnology, establish an agency to drive itsb genda for the country, and dedicate funds for its promotion and R&D.
“Establishment of centres of excellence in nanotechnology is germane to realise the lofty potential of the country,” Lateef said.
He,however, called on scientists to collaborate on developing the sector,adding that Nigerian scientists have the capacity to undertake nanotechnology R&D.
Nanotechnology is the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometres, especially the manipulation of individual atoms and molecules.
Nanotechnology, also referred to as nanotech, is the use of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale for industrial purposes.(NAN)