FUTA Overview

FUTA Don Canvasses Better Funding of Atmospheric Research to Mitigate Climate Change

A professor of Atmospheric/Communication Physics at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Babatunde Adeyemi, has advocated adequate and improved funding for atmospheric research to combat the ravaging effect of climate change in the society. He stated this while delivering the 164th inaugural lecture of the university on Tuesday, January 23rd, 2024.

Adeyemi who titled his lecture, “Before the Apocalypse: The Applicability of the Earth’s Atmosphere and Radio Communication in a Developing Economy,” said the steady rise in the earth’s population and the acceleration of economic engines and human activities may force the atmosphere-ocean-land system in ways and directions we do not yet completely comprehend. Lamenting the effect of climate change on human activities he said “the rate at which climate change or global warming affects lives and properties, most especially in the Sahelian region of West Africa, is highly unprecedented. We need to know that time is of the essence so that before the apocalypse, we may make the world and, by inference, Nigeria, more habitable, attractive and valuable.”

According to him, “As atmospheric issues become more complex, the implications more critical, and funds for meaningful research scarcely available, it becomes imperative for scientists in Nigeria to impress on the government the need to develop better templates for funding research so that we can meet up with our counterparts in other climes to develop more knowledge in this field to serve national needs effectively. Our government must be proactive regarding improve funding for atmospheric research so that tangible results that will lead to improvements in telecommunication and in the mitigation and adaptation of climate change may be obtained.”

Commending the role of his field, Atmospheric Physics in combatting climate change, he said “we must appreciate the key role atmospheric physics is playing in understanding our world. Imagine a planet without atmosphere, the surface would be rough and torn, battered by meteor impacts. Ultraviolet radiation and streams from solar flares will impinge freely on the surface, making life there impossible. Through research and applications, atmospheric physics provides information that contributes to protecting life and property, agriculture, economic and industrial vitality, air quality management, battlefield decisions, and national policies concerning communication, aviation, energy and the environment.”

Professor Adeyemi identified data availability as a major challenge facing atmospheric and communication physics today because of dearth of equipment for adequate in-situ measurement. He thus recommended that agencies saddled with the responsibility be adequately funded to enable them fulfil the essence of their establishment, adding that such agencies should be replicated in our universities for the expected synergy. He however, appeal for adequate funding of universities to enhance qualitative output.

The don also called on government to make Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) apolitical so that it can fulfil the mandate of its establishment. He said “presently, the founding fathers’ vision of establishing TETfund has been eroded. The agency was founded purposely to fund research in tertiary institutions. That is no longer the case. The government should redirect TETfund to focus on funding research.”

Adeyemi also bemoaned erratic power supply in the country, especially in the ivory towers. He described it as the bane of good research output in our universities and called on government to urgently intervene to save the situation.

Commending the current administration led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in granting autonomy to the university system, he admonished and recommended that all other issues relating to staff welfare and proper funding be addressed urgently to promote industrial harmony within the system.

In her address, the Vice Chancellor and Chairman at the lecture, Professor Adenike Oladiji, who was represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Professor Taiwo Amos, described Professor Adeyemi as an erudite academic who knows his onions and who has added value to teaching and research activities in FUTA and beyond. She commended the excellent delivery of the lecture, saying it has proffered solution to some of the challenges the country is facing, especially as related to climate change and global warming.