| The 9th national workshop on ‘Repair and Maintenance of Scientific, Engineering Equipment in Universities, Research Institutions and Small Scale Industries’ was inaugurated in Enugu, Nigeria, on May 23, 2016, by Dr. Habiba Lawal, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST), Nigeria. The workshop is being jointly organized by COMSATS and ISESCO, under their joint cooperation programme for the biennium 2016-17.
The workshop is being hosted by the Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, Nigeria, one of the oldest institutes of FMST. The workshop aims to develop indigenous capacities of the local scientists and institutions in the developing countries for promoting self-reliance in repair and maintenance of scientific equipment used in R&D activities.
The inaugural ceremony was also attended by Eng. Dr. Charles N. Auglanna, Director General/CEO PRODA, FMST; Mr. Abayomi Oguntunde, Director, FMST; Eng. Prof. S. N. Ndubuisi, Managing Director, Scientific Equipment Development Institute; Prof. I. M. Bugaje, Director General/CEO, National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT); Prof. T. U. Onuegdu, Representative of Vice Chancellor, UNIZIK Univeristy; Dr. (Mrs.) N. A. Onyekwelu, Zonal Director, National Institute of Trypanosomiasis Research (NITR); Eng. Dr. E. C. Oriaku, Director, Engineering Research Development Production (ERDP); Eng. Dr. Edith Ishidi, Exco Member, The Nigerian Society of Engineers, Abuja; Eng. Dr. Diya’ Uddin Basheer Hasan, Director (Research), National Research Institute for Chemical Technology (NARICT); Mr. Nisar Ahmad, Deputy Director (Systems), COMSATS; and the two resource persons of the workshop from the Pakistan Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Mr. Arif Karim and Mr. Faisal Ghazanfar. Also present at the occasion were the participants of the workshop, as well as senior officials and representatives from various Nigerian research institutions, universities, industries and hospitals.
The opening ceremony started with a local tradition, breaking of Kola nut by the Traditional Ruler of Nike, Enugu State, HRH. David Kzemokwe. The welcome address was delivered by Dr. (Engr.) Charles Agulanna, Director-General/Chief Executive, Project Development Institute (PRODA), Enugu, Nigeria. Highlighting relevance of role of PRODA with the theme of the workshop, Dr. Agulana hoped for the success of the event in building relevant capacities in the participants.
In his message, read out on the occasion by Mr. Nisar Ahmed, the Executive Director COMSATS, Dr. Imtinan Elahi Qureshi, extended gratitude to ISESCO and FMST, Nigeria. Sharing the experience of the previous workshops on the theme, Dr. Qureshi informed that more than 350 scientists, engineers and technicians have been trained so far on troubleshooting and maintenance of various instruments. Dr. Qureshi hoped that the event would facilitate linkages among the participants and experts for future networking and interaction.
Mr. Ahmad also read-out the message of H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General ISESCO. Emphasizing on the importance of workshop theme and related issues that need to be addressed at the national and regional levels, Dr. Altwaijri deemed it important to strategize for effective management of spare parts to maintain, ensure and strengthen the practices related to the upkeep of machines in order to achieve continuous production and avoid costly downtime in the maintenance of scientific equipment. Dr. Altwaijri considered it important to regularly allocate a budget for repair of scientific research equipment and relevant training. He expressed his satisfaction over ISESCO-COMSATS collaboration and expressed his commitment for continuous and fruitful partnership to the benefit of common Member States. He also reaffirmed of ISESCO’s readiness to increase the number of such workshops in the OIC Member States.
Speaking at the occasion, the Chief Guest, Dr. Lawal commended both ISESCO and COMSATS for organizing the much needed national workshop in Nigeria and hoped that the knowledge and new techniques acquired in the workshop would help in increasing self-reliance on repair and maintenance of scientific equipment/engineering equipment. She also shared that there is a growing number of non-functional equipment in research laboratories in Nigeria due to lack of capacity to repair these instruments. In this context, she considered this workshop apt and timely for Nigeria.
The programme of the workshop comprises ten technical sessions offering seminars on troubleshooting and repairing Atomic Absorption System; Spectrophotometer; XRF Systems; Gas Chromatograph; HPLC Systems; Mass Spectrometer; Flame Photometer; High Vacuum Systems; Thermal Analyzer (TGA/DSC); Thermal Equipment (Oven & Furnace); Melting Point Apparatus; Bomb Calorimeter; Viscometer; Refractometer; High Temperature Carbon Sulfur Analyzer; Flue Gas Analyzer; Inverter System; pH Meter; Conductivity Meter; and Laboratory Balances. The lectures will be complemented by hands-on training in the labs of PRODA and visits to National Orthopedic Hospital, Enugu. Training will be imparted to more than 30 researchers, academicians, technicians and engineers from different organizations of Nigeria during the course of the event.
The workshop will conclude on May 27, 2016.