The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro has called for a lawful establishment of a national research and development foundation to encourage growth in all sectors of the economy.
He made the call at the inauguration of an 11-man committee to specifically nurture Research culture and Development in Nigerian universities.
The Eleven-man Committee is expected to foster R and D Foundation that will promote an effective interface between universities, government and the private sector,
They are to provide strategic leadership internally to the process of implementing Tetfund R and D mandate, especially among TETFund staff and also be responsible for the development and design of an international framework for research.
While inaugurating the committee in Abuja the, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said the committee became necessary seeing that Nigerian tertiary institutions are poorly ranked globally because of their poor research output.
He explained that research is the bedrock of development and plays a vital role in the economic success of every nation.
He also emphasised that research must possess the capacity to resolve problems of the society instead of merely being an academic exercise.
“There is ample evidence to show that R and D propelled by higher education, more than anything else, has contributed to the rise and expansion of the world knowledge economy,” Prof. Bogoro explained,
Prof. Bogoro also tasked the federal government to pay attention to poor research infrastructures in the country, stressing that having R and D at only 0.02 percent in Nigeria is unacceptable.
“Nothing clearly depicts the weakness of driving R and D in Nigeria as the absence of a national platform for the regulation and strengthening of R and D.
“It is in this vein that TETFund, propelled by my vision continues to advocate the establishment by law of a National R and D Foundation that will ensure coordinated national framework for the sustenance and implementation of R and D,” he said.
Bogoro said collaboration with industries in area of research is very important to also create wealth for researchers and boost the economy.
“If the industries are not there, then we are wasting our time on research…. With a vibrant research culture none of the PhD holder in the country will live in penury,”
While promising to deliver on the committee’s mandate, Prof. Placid Njoku who reacted on behalf of the committee said Nigerian universities must live up to expectations in the area of research.
This he said is necessary because the ranking of Universities is dependent on the quality of research work carried out by the Universities and its resultant positive effect on the society.