By Deji Elumoye
A member of the National Assembly, Senator Olamilekan Adeola, has lauded the efforts of the Rector of the Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State, Olusegun Aluko, and engineers of the institution to design and produce a ventilator used in the treatment of COVID-19 within a space of two weeks.
Reacting to the news of the positive development yesterday, the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance said he was impressed by the acumen and ingenuity of the engineers of the 41-year-old tertiary institution, who rose up to the occasion to produce the scarce and costly equipment locally after research and trials within two weeks.
He added that it is even more reassuring that the Rector declared that the ventilator can be produced in two days with necessary support from the federal government.
“The feat of this institution in producing the critical medical equipment that is in urgent demand for the COVID-19 pandemic goes to show the ingenuity and talents of Nigerians that needs to be tapped. The pandemic has demonstrated that even with globalisation, each nation is left to solve their problems before attending to others.
“The Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, has demonstrated that we can rise to the challenge of developing indigenous technology to solve even worldwide existential problems. I am glad that the Rector said the design could be taught to other institutions for mass production,” the member of the Senate committee on science and technology said.
He advised the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19, Federal Ministries of Education, Science and Technology as well as Health to get in touch with the institution with a view to mass produce “this equipment that cost less than a million naira instead of waiting to import similar equipment that are scarce in the international market at prohibitive cost ranging from N10 million and above.”
According to him, the feat of the tertiary institution has further justified the need for the passage of one of his bills presently before the Senate for the upgrade of the school to a University of Technology, stressing that the bill which was set for Second Reading before the lockdown is further supported by the existing infrastructures and vast land for the upgrade as well as the need to encourage technological development as demonstrated by the school.