THE Vice-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State has described as unique the initiative of promoting research studies on climate change adaptation in Nigerian universities in the country.
In Abuja Tuesday, where France pledged to invest 700, 000 Euros on educational research aimed at fostering collaboration on climate change adaptation between it and Nigeria, the VC, professor Chinedum Nwajiuba said that “the concept of the project is good because it is not something that you find easily in any higher institution of learning.”
Briefing journalists on the collaboration, the Higher Education and Science Attaché to the French Embassy in Nigeria, Mrs Leila Mathieu said that the goal of the project is to promote partnership between France and Nigeria through the creation of an environment that would encourage young scientists to be more innovative.
She said: “In order to start doing research together, it is important to know where each country is coming from. So, a large part of the project is to encourage mobility of scientists from France and Nigeria. Another is dedicated to creating the right environment and means of action.
“This involves funding workshops, short stays in relevant labs, visits from French scientists, high-level training in selected short-term programme for junior researchers, bench work, and funding for three best projects.”
Prof. Nwajiuba, said the concept of the project is good because it is not something that you find easily in any higher institution of learning.
“We are trying to bring a new generation of Nigerian researchers together. We want to bring a team of researchers from seven Nigerian universities together to make them to be able to imagine and conceptualise projects and ideas that are not just from one university, but to also encourage them to partner with other universities.
“This is something unique and we think it is important for a new generation of researchers to think out of the box and work in other fields of study.”
Some of the Nigerian universities selected for the research are Alex Ekwueme University, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Jos, Bayero University, Kano University of Science and Technology, and the Ebonyi State University as some of the institutions selected for the research.
The institutions from France are Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP), University of Grenoble, University of Lyon, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and Museum of La Ville.
The Head of Centrale Nantes, Mauritius, Mr Frederic Meslin, said that “there is need to ensure researchers have well-defined objectives and thoughts to be able to succeed in their research on climate change adaptation.
“We are experiencing the effects of climate change now and some of the approaches to fighting against climate change are wrong. It is important for people to spend time to produce green energy.”
A lecturer at the Bayero University Kano, Dr Muhammad Buhari praised the embassy for the training, saying: “We have been taught to make good use of our research ideas and how to apply for grants, and it has been quite remarkable.”