Research is no doubt a driving force in human existence. This implies that the entirety of life for growth, development and survival is significantly affected by research.
Research affects every facet of our lives – education, religion, health, politics, technology, economy, relationship and lifestyle. It can be dated back to the time of the early man. However, until the advent of technology and its advancement over the years, it only became popular and many more people began to feel its impact just a few decades ago.
In our contemporary society, virtually every activity of man now revolves around research. What impact has research made on our lives and economy?
This research was conducted by the Ahmadu Bello University Waste to Wealth team. According to the team leader, Muktari Suleiman, from the department of Polymer and Textile Engineering, an eight member team was drawn for the research from the fields of Polymer and Textile Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Environmental Engineering.
The research which was the first of its kind to employ Nanotechnology to convert waste Plastics and waste automobile tyres to foot wears, also aimed at solving the problems of environmental pollution, high cost of importing foot wears into the country and unemployment, amongst others.
A single production line was estimated to convert 75 million tons of plastic waste annually. Also, the conversion of about 55 million tons of waste automobile tyres annually was projected.
Considering the huge potential impact the research would make on our individual and economic lives, which incontestably, would be unprecedented, the project was put at about 6 million naira. This is to facilitate the lay down of a prototype, whereas to ensure full commercialization, an initial capital of 20 million naira would be needed.
Also, part of this amount would be used to produce about 150,000 pairs of foot wears, which could generate about 95 million naira in just 3 months. The long term benefit will boost the Nigeria economy and keep the environment clean and safe.
Furthermore, the machines to be used for the production of these materials will have their base here in the country and Nigeria will, no doubt, become a commercial hub for the production of foot wears with an estimated annual revenue of 1.1 trillion naira.
Without a scintilla of doubt, this is one project the Federal Government of Nigeria cannot afford to wish away, but leverage to provide millions of job opportunities for its teeming youth,to better their lot and the Nigeria economy.
It is on record that funding in this part of the world is an albatross for research. However, the importance of research cannot be overemphasized. To this end, it is expedient that government at all levels, corporate bodies and individuals should pull more resources to fund great projects, such as this. Times have changed and Nigeria has to move with the times.