An Ad hoc Committee set up by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to deepen research and development; has called for the set up of a research foundation that would articulate research activities in the country.
Prof. Placid Njoku, the committee Ad hoc Co-chair, revealed this in Abuja, on Thursday, at the presentation of the Interim Report of the Ad hoc Committee, to the Executive Secretary of the fund.
Njoku said there was also need to effectively operationalise research and development, for the purpose of advancing the course of the country.
He added that understanding relationships among key stakeholders in government, the academia and the industry to achieve result was essential to research development.
” In the course of our findings, we noted that there is no central national research hub, where TETFund can actually drop guidelines.
“We noted that research in tertiary institutions are at the discretion of individual researchers. They decide what they want to research on and at the end of the day they publish a study and there is no relationship with what they are doing and what we call the national development agenda.
” And this is why we say all their researches are sitting on the shelves because what they are doing, are not related to the core development system of the nation.
“We, therefore, we think there is a need for a national research foundation.
” This must be a call that must articulate all the research efforts of Nigeria, including funding and defining areas of interest, ” he said.
He further called on the key stakeholders to work together in defining what directions Nigeria research must go, to influence the growth of our society.
He stressed the need to develop a structure that involved full enforcement of stakeholders.
Also, another co-chair, Mr Tope Togun, commended the efforts of President Muhammudu Buhari, on the administration agenda of lift 100 million Nigerians out of poverty.
Togun said that doing this required creating decent jobs, which would not be possible without innovation.
He enjoined stakeholders to join in the mission of creating innovations through effective and efficient research platforms.
In his remarks, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, TETFund Executive Secretary, commended the efforts put in place by the committee, saying the report would advance the development of the country.
Bogoro added that a key research that defines academics was research; adding that President Buhari was responsive to this development by the release of N4billion research budget for 2019.
He said the fund was determined to increase the intervention budget for research in 2020.
” Nigeria needs knowledge-driven research for development and the president has directed a national summit on Research and Development in second quarter of 2020.
“If there is no deep thinking, there is no development and the economy cannot move forward.
” It is a task that everyone must be committed to, in order to develop the country, ” he said.
Bogoro, on assumption of office in 2019, set up a three-man committee with some staff of the fund to deepen the research and development mandate of TETFund.