By Felix Khanoba
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says cutting-edge research in the nation’s defence industry remains one of the best bets in bringing the desired peace and security in the country.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, stated this in Abuja while unveiling a 13-man Defence and Security Research and Development Subcommittee to lead efforts on collaborative research in defence and operations.
Bogoro, who called on the Nigerian Army to intensify research on defence, innovation and technology, said the defence and military sectors of any nation can only effectively protect citizens by injecting discoveries made possible by research.
Speaking further at the event which took place at the Nigerian Army headquarters, the TETFund boss said warfare has gone digital and nuclear, which underscores the importance of technology and innovation.
“And today, unlike what we would have thought about immediately post-independence, we saw the military by the colours of the uniform they wore and the beautiful berets, but I tell you contemporary military is known and associated with contemporary innovations,” he said.
He said TETFund decided to put in place a Research and Development Standing Committee chaired by Prof Njiddah Gadzama, to deepen research in the country with focus on agriculture, defence, ICT, climate change, among others.
According to him, the Nigerian academic community who are natural leaders in research globally, historically have been travelling with one hand for too long, adding that this time they want research to solve problems of Nigeria’s economy, technology and multiple issues.
Responding, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, backed the call for the establishment of a national research and development foundation, pledging that the military would urge its partners to key into the foundation.
Buratai disclosed that the Nigerian Army has been engaged in research and development for a long time, adding that over the years, it has participated in research and development exhibition workshops both at home and abroad.
“In our desires to carry out innovation and research and development that the department of innovation and transformation was established and over the years it has participated in several research and development exhibitions, seminars, workshops both at home and abroad.
“Our Nigerian Army engineers, Nigerian Army signals, and in fact, intelligence and military bodies in various forms and ways embark on research and development; with particular interest in the rechargeable blasting device which was the work of research carried out by Nigerian Army Engineers which has proven to be very useful in demolition and other field operations,” he said.