Dr. K. K. Sarpong, the Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC) said the Corporation was keen to build the research and technology base of the country in advancing its development.
He said industries could only do well based on quality research and innovations from academia and 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 seed monies 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’.
The GNPC is therefore committing one million dollars for the Chair within a four year period.
Dr. Sarpong added that a GNPC centre of excellence for research and innovations in petroleum studies would be established in a more coordinated relationship with existing universities, ‘in the near future we may through the collaboration award post graduate 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 local and international.
The UMAT, he added, was doing well in research and innovation and that the MOU was only a boost and a feather in the cap of 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 prevents the use of mercury, ‘This Chair will go a long way as far as research is concern’.
The VC said the 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 practical. Our students are groomed to perform the task and excel above their contemporaries,’ he added.