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Geoscientists Plot Season of Rahaman

By John Celestine-Akobata

A committee of geoscientists is plotting a month long series of activities, anchored on the most current thinking in geosciences, to mark the 70th birthday of the Nigerian scholar Omar Rahaman.

“It’s more than a committee of his colleagues, friends, former and current students”, says Kenny Ladipo, a former top Shell geologist and earth science thinker and founder of the Centre of Excellence in Geosciences &Petroleum Engineering at the University of Benin, in the Niger Delta region. “It’s a way  of celebrating the subject of geoscience itself. “Professor Rahaman has been a selfless builder of capacities in the subject”.

At the centre of activities being planned is a book to document the current research frontiers and thinking in geosciences in Africa. The  book is proposed to cover ALL aspects of Nigerian geology, including the basement (Igneous and metamorphic) and their economic potentialsincluding solid minerals, as well as the stratigraphy, sedimentology and petroleum systems of Nigeria’s sedimentary basins and petroleum and potentials. It is expected to highlight concepts and research output in hydrogeology, applied geophysics and geochemistry as they apply to the improved understanding of the geology of Nigeria.

Omar Morufu Rahaman is a widely quoted expert on the Precambrian (the earliest rock unit) geology of Africa and has served in the academia, mainly at the Obafemi Awolowo University for over 40 years, but perhaps his most distinguishing trait is the training of geoscientists. Professor Rahaman’s main ambition is to produce high quality geoscience graduates that can be employed anywhere in the world. For nine years he was the coordinator of the aptitude examination used by the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) to select beneficiaries of the Funds Overseas Scholarship Scheme for the skills acquisition at the Master’s level in selected Universities in Britain.

For the unique anniversary of the day of his birth, the planned activities include

  • an hour long talk by the celebrator himself at the May 2016 edition of the monthly Technical/Business Meeting of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists (NAPE) on May 18, 2016 at the Eko Hotel, overlooking the Atlantic in Lagos.
  • Symposium (featuring oral presentation of many of the technical papers proposed for compilation in the book) on May 31, 2016
  • Gala Night (Dinner) including the launch of an endowment of a Foundation, on May 31, 2016.

“The proposed book will be a follow up to the publication of May 2006 published to mark Professor Rahaman’s 60th birthday anniversary”, notes Kehinde Olafiranye, who is the secretary of the committee and anchor person driving the project.

Ladipo, who is Chairman of the overall Season of Rahaman Committee, says that a First call for contributions of research and technical papers to the book Contemporary Geosciences in Nigeria in honour of Rahaman at 70 has gone out. Industry professionals, academics and students are invited to submit  full length papers that relate to any of the following themes: (1) The Mother Rock: Developments in Basement Geology (2) Innovations in petroleum Exploration and Exploitation (3)Solid minerals exploration, exploitation an viable policy framework (4) Strategy for a sustainable, robust geoscience manpower development.

Short Papers are to be emailed to: Deadline for submission is March 31, 2016. Contributors will be advised to give oral presentations during the symposium on May 31, 2016.

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