The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro Thursday on the occasion of the inauguration of TETFund’s standing committee on Research and Development (R&D) in Abuja said it was time the federal government raised research and development budget for tertiary institutions across the country, therefore
The TETFund boss particularly appealed to the federal government to raise its yearly funding for Research and Development (R&D) to $1 billion.
Bogoro hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for his recent increase of the research grant from N5 bn to N7.5 bn.
Bogoro said massive investment in research would bring about the much-needed development in the country, even as he said it was time for the promulgation of a law that would bring into action what he referred to as the “National R&D Foundation (NRDF)” to deepen research in the country.
”To galvanise our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated.
“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of One billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this foundation.
“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.”
Bogoro, who said the TETFund’s R&D standing committee was expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that is suitable for efficient research activities in the country, called for a robust collaboration between researchers and the private sector to bring about all-round development in the country.
“It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it.”
Bogoro lauded the recent performance of Nigerian universities in the world’s ranking, saying TETFund intervention projects have continued to encourage such feats.
Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, while inaugurating the committee, called on committee members to put their best to the work he referred to as “national assignment”.
Adamu said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria. “Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.
“It is in recognition of this direction that Bogoro presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT).
“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population.
“It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.
Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, said the work of the committee would open a vista of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.
Suleiman, who was represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.
“Research is the gateway of innovation. It is said that while countries like the USA, Korea, and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern.” He thus encouraged beneficiaries to take good advantage of the initiative to solve problems for the betterment of the country.
In his response, the chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Professor Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch-making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring the robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.
“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” he said. The standing committee whose membership was drawn from the academic, industry, and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three vice presidents, among other renowned academics and industrialists.
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