Minister Commends NOTAP and PZ Cussons Partnership for Upgrading University Laboratories

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Chief Uche Geoffrey Nnaji, the Honourable Minister of Innovation, Science, and Technology, has lauded the collaboration between the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) and PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc. This partnership has successfully upgraded Chemistry and Chemical Engineering laboratories at Nigerian universities, including the newly commissioned lab at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State. Represented by Mrs. Esuabana Nko-Asanye, the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry, Chief Nnaji emphasized the importance of such partnerships in advancing science education in Nigeria.

He highlighted that the upgraded lab would enable students to perform critical experiments and generate research that could benefit the local and national community. Chief Nnaji also noted Nigeria’s natural resources and potential for self-sufficiency in food production, referencing Umudike’s historical role in supplying food to the eastern states. He urged the university to fully utilize the new equipment to reclaim this status.

Dr. Idoreyin Imiyoho, the acting Director General of NOTAP, in her welcome address, explained that the NOTAP-Industry Research Laboratory Upgrade (NIRLUP) initiative began in 2014 to bridge the gap between academia and industry. She acknowledged PZ Cussons Nigeria Plc as the sole industry partner, funding upgrades at five institutions, including the National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT) in Zaria, University of Calabar (UNICAL), Modibbo Adama University of Technology (MAUTECH) in Yola, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University in Bauchi, and Alex Ekwueme University of Technology in Ebonyi State. Michael Okpara University is the first of the next set of institutions to benefit from this initiative.

Dr. Imiyoho praised PZ Cussons for their commitment and strategic partnership, which she believes is vital for transforming knowledge into socio-economic assets and achieving sustainable national development.

Mr. Dimitris Koistianis, CEO of PZ Cussons, represented by Engr. Ifeanyichukwu Abadom, expressed satisfaction with the results of the partnership, reaffirming the company’s dedication to improving lives and supporting research. He reiterated PZ Cussons’ commitment to enhancing local research capabilities and the continuation of their support for NOTAP and other genuine developmental initiatives.

The Vice Chancellor of Michael Okpara University, Prof. Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, expressed his gratitude for the lab upgrade, noting that it significantly enhances the university’s research capabilities.

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