By Lere Olayinka

Ekiti State Governor, Engr. Segun Oni's working visit to South Korea has started yielding results as an International Centre for Mineral Resource Analysis and Certification is to be established in the State.

The centre, which will also conduct training and research in mineral resources for Nigeria is to be based in the States new University of Science and Technology Ifaki (USTI).

The establishment of this centre is part of the agreement signed between the Governor of Ekiti state Governor Oni and the authorities of the Kyugnam University(KU), a 63 year old leading South Korean institution led by its President, Dr Jae Kyu Park, during the ongoing tour of the Governor in South Korea. The centre The state government is also to provide 1000 hectare land in the University for a Bio Energy farm for a Green Energy Research Centre for the KU and USTI The two institutions will during the period of the agreement exchange faculty members and students for specified period in furtherance of academic , industrial and technological research.

Speaking after signing the agreement, which was also endorsed by the USTI Vice Chancellor, Prof Sam Bandele, Governor Oni said the collaboration was a fulfillment of the vision of the state to set up a centre of excellence for Science and Technology, adding that USTI was conceived to offer specialized and unique educational opportunities that will enhance humanity and assist Nigeria to overcome some of its current challenges in deploying emerging technological initiatives.

He Commended the authorities of KU for agreeing to offer the Nigerian young universities the opportunity to partner with it and draw experience from its established tradition of excellence in teaching and research, saying; “such handshake across international borders will enhance the sustenance of humanity.

Speaking further, the governor said; “No country can afford to pretend that it will survive alone if other countries are left behind in science and technology because all of humanity are con joined, and we need to advance the course of the survival of our future together,'' he said, adding that the Authorities of KU should be commended for opening its door to institution in Nigeria for the advancement of science and technology.

Also speaking , President of the University ,Prof Park said the visit of the Governor and the signing of the agreement marked the highpoint of over one year of discussion on areas of collaboration with the state. He said having found USTI as an emerging institution with the right vision for technological education, KU was convinced that the cooperation was capable of advancing its outreach programme in Africa He said the two institutions will move with speed to implement the areas of agreement. The instrument Analysis centre he said was the first to be set up in Africa by the institution adding that it will provide opportunity for mineral prospectors who currently have to go overseas for testing and certification of the minerals to perform such essential requirement in Nigeria to save huge resources The centre for Green Energy research will also offer assistance in current effort for alternative and more environmentally friendly source of power in Nigeria.

The signing of the agreement was witnessed by officials of KU and other members of the Governors entourage, including the Minister in the Nigerian Embassy in Seoul, Mr. Joshua Akinola.