By Felix Khanoba
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has inaugurated a 11-man committee to deepen research culture in universities in the country.
Inaugurating the committee on Research and Development (R and D) in Abuja on Thursday, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said research plays major role in any economic success of a nation.
While decrying the poor research culture in universities in the country, Bogoro said a research should be able to solve the problem in the society instead of being a mere academic exercise.
“There is ample evidence to show that R and D proppelled by higher education, more than anything else, has contributed to the rise and expansion of the world knowledge economy,” he said.
The TETFund boss, who called on the National Assembly to establish R and D Foundation to deepen research culture, said there is need to pay attention to poor research infrastructures in the country.
“The level of R and D infrastructure and productivity in Nigeria (0.02 percent) remains unacceptably low.
“There are numerous national policies related to university-industry partnership in the country and the role the of university in the society, including to national development.
“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,”
Responding, the committee chairman, Prof. Placid Njoku, said Nigerian universities must live up to expectation in the area of research as their ranking is mainly based on the qualities of research churn out by them.
He commended TETFund for breathing a new life into research systems in education institutions in the country and promised to deliver on the committee’s mandate.
Also speaking, the co-chairman, Mr Tope Togun from the National Economic Support Group (NESG), pledged the collaboration of the private sector on leveraging on research by universities
The committee, which has a United State-based researcher, Prof. Ibrahim Katampe as Vice Chairman, also has as members, Dr Aminu Anas, Dr Jacob Alada, among others.
The term of reference of the committee include; to provide strategic leadership internally to the process of implementing TETFund R and D mandate amongst the staff of the Fund; Development and design of international framework, among others.