A university don, Prof. Louis Egwari, says that many scientific discoveries in Nigeria are unutilised because some government agencies in charge of patenting are unknown.
Egwari, who teaches biochemistry at the Covenant University, Ota, Ogun, told our correspondent on telephone on Thursday that many scientists did not know the functions of the agencies.
He said that the agencies, including the Raw Materials Research and Development Council and the National Office of Technological Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), needed to educate the public on their functions.
“Many researchers in the country do not even know that patenting a discovery is free because they are not enlightened by the agencies of government in charge of issuing patents.
“NOTAP’s role of regulating research activities and sourcing for investors for patented discoveries can be enhanced if it has more media collaboration,’’ he said.
Egwari, who discovered a reagent from pawpaw tree on June 23, said that Nigeria’s environment was not conducive for research.
The reagent is for the preservation of processed foods.
The lecturer said that although most environments worldwide were not 100 per cent friendly to research, a focussed researcher could still succeed.
“In fact, an unfriendly environment makes certain kinds of research possible”.
“The outbreak of polio, syphilis and the scourge of malaria will aid a scientist to find a cure for the diseases”.
“The important thing is for the researcher to be focussed on the scientific exercise and then results will be imminent,’’ he said.
He urged the three tiers of government to provide basic amenities, including potable water, electricity and security to enhance research efforts.
Egwari urged scientists to publicise their discoveries to facilitate societal growth.
“Locally produced chemicals for food preservation will save a lot of foreign exchange for government and reduce reliance on imports,’’ he said.