By Gift Olivia Samuel, The Sight News
ABUJA: Following the relegation of research to the background in Nigeria despite its importance, the Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund), Prof. Elias Bogoro has vowed to take the lead in reviving interest in research to further speed up development.
This is just as the ES noted with dismay, that the level of research and development productivity in Nigeria is only 0.02% very abysmal when compared with most developed world where they have 3-5% and nearly 10 % in most serious technologically driven economies in the world.
Prof. Bogoro who said these on Thursday in Abuja, while inaugurating the Research and Development Ad hoc Committee, said no meaningful progress can be made by any country without serious commitment to the development of Science and Technology.
He noted that Nigeria being at 0.02% in the percentage committed to Research and Development is one of the very lowest in the world and it remains unacceptably low.
According to him, “For too long, we have allowed a kind of tilt in the relationship between the research community for higher education and the industry, and that has not helped matters in our country. They see us doing more of theoretical research for promotions, unacceptable”.
He further stated that with the new global economy and the need for rapid advancement to alleviate socioeconomic issues, there is need for national recalibration and re-sensitization of operations and policies, targeting on sustainable innovative research and development operation.
“Nothing clearly depicts the weakness in driving research and development in Nigeria as the absence of a national platform with the regulation and strengthening of R&D.
“It is in this value that TETFund continues to advocate the establishment by law of the National R&D foundation to ensure coordinated national framework for the sustenance and implementation of R&D”, he remarked.
The TETFund boss commended the National Universities Commission(NUC) for its progress in institutionalizing research and development, which he said, is the next level in the tertiary education sub-sector in Nigeria.
He further said that inadequacy of incentives, lack of institutional arrangements in tertiary institutions and lack of sustained stakeholders advocacy by civil society to devote conceivable attention to development of scientific capabilities are some of the issues of research and innovation in Tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Furthermore, he inaugurated the ad hoc committee with the following terms of reference; Provide strategic leadership internally to the process of implementing TETFund R&D mandate among the staff of the Fund by—creating awareness and sensitization of R&D and innovation paradigm shift in the Fund’s relevant staff, developing administrative and technical capacity building framework for the TETFund R&D department and all staff capabilities.
They are also to, develop and design intervention Framework by—Mapping of national innovation inconsistencies, development of strategic plans to align with TETFund R&D paradigm shift, developing framework for capacity building workshop for partnering educational institutions, and to lead the strategic integration of sustainable R &D innovation recommended framework with relevant key stakeholders.
On the Committee membership, he noted that it includes three key individuals that have exhibited passion over the years in academic contribution to knowledge especially in the aspect of research innovation and creativity to solve human problems, adding that they will assist the internal team to deliver the TETFund’s mandate.
The Committee has Professor Placid Njoku as Chairman and Ibrahim Katampe as Vice Chairman.