The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), Kofi Koduah Sarpong, has said the corporation was keen to build the research and technology base of the country in advancing its development.
According to him, industries could only do well based on quality research and innovations from academia; therefore, instituting a professorial chair to increase research was only a duty to national development.
Dr Sarpong said this during the signing of a memorandum of understanding covering a $9 million fund as seed money for the professorial chair in engineering and technological research between the GNPC and the University of Mines and Technology (UMAT) on Friday.
The professorial chair, dubbed ‘Mining Engineering Chair’, according to the CEO, was the right step to enhance research in the country’s universities, particularly UMAT, spanning the next four years. “We believe that it was the right thing to do”.
He said already the UMAT had received GH¢2 million, with the second component to be released soon, adding, “We demand results after the first four years, and this will determine the next line of this relationship”.
Dr Sarpong added that a GNPC centre of excellence for research and innovations in petroleum studies would be established in a more co-ordinated relationship with existing universities, “In the near future, we may, through the collaboration, award postgraduate degrees”.
Professor S.Y. Kuma, Vice-Chancellor of the UMAT, who was elated about the whole project, mentioned some outstanding performance of the school in winning lots of prestigious awards both locally and internationally.
The UMAT, he added, was doing well in research and innovation, and that the MoU was only a boost to the school to do more in the area of research.
Some of the innovations, he stated, were the manufacturing of alcohol control device in cars, the SIKA Boochia for small-scale mining, which prevented the use of mercury. “This chair will go a long way as far as research is concern”.
The VC said UMAT was concerned with the quality of the human resource that the country should have, and thus have put in place stringent quality assurance procedures to get the best out of the lecturers in developing the human capital of the nation.
“Here at UMAT, we do not teach theory but practicals as our students are groomed to perform the task and excel above their contemporaries”, he added.