The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah has called for a closer synergy between the business communities and academic institutions, as a way to fast track national development.
Prof. Na’Allah who was speaking at the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), said, it is time for Nigeria to emulate the practice in settled society where the academicians and business community work closely together to drive national development.
The Professor of English Literature, said research and development should be the driving force for business innovations and initiatives, explaining that a collaboration between the two sectors is in the interest of both business and the Universities.
According to him, the output of research in Universities should be the critical raw materials for business innovation, and product development across the various sectors of the Economy.
He expressed happiness at the collaboration with ACCI, listing areas of collaboration to include; research, training, joint business venture, capacity building and participation of ACCI in the upcoming business school and the mining sector of the school.
The President, ACCI represented by the Vice President Industry, Barr. Jude Igwe at the signing of the MoU, said the signing is indeed a milestone for private partnership, adding that it is a very important aspect of our educational and commercial improvement.
He said through this signing, ACCI and University of Abuja are concluding a partnership agreement in the areas of; research, training, capacity building and continuing education, workshops and conferences, executive and regular MBAs, skills development, technology and knowledge transfer, trade fairs and expos, preparation of curriculum and modules for specialized trainings, policy advocacy, amongst others.
He said, “To prepare a skilled workforce, business and educational institutions must partner to preserve our nation’s competitiveness and economic strength in response to a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world.
“Specifically our partnership will be through; the University of Abuja Business School, Centre for Sponsored Projects, The Internship and Linkages Services, The Centre for Undergraduate Research And The Centre for Student’s Industrial Work Experience Scheme and Student Employment (SIWES).
“The Centre will partner through ACCI’s Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology Centre, Policy Advocacy Centre, Dispute Resolution centre and The Abuja Trade Centre. We look forward to a successful implementation of the agreements outlined in the MoU.”
Also present were, VP Mines, Dr. Anene Johnson; VP Agriculture, Dr. Kolawole Owoka; VP Commerce, Dr. Sijuade Kayode; DG ACCI, Victoria Akai; ACCI General Counsel and Registrar General, DRC Aisha Ado Abdullahi.