Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
Inspite of the role Research and Development infrastructure and productivity play in national development, including leveraging the quality of research and academic programs, the level of R&D infrastructure and productivity in Nigeria has remained as low as 0.02 per cent.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro who described the figure as very disturbing.
Speaking while inaugurating an Ad-hoc Committee on Research and Development in Abuja, Bogoro noted that the ad-hoc committee would help to provide strategic leadership internally to the process of implementing TETFund research and development mandate among the staff of the Fund.
The executive secretary who stressed that figure is in need of urgent improvement said, absence of a national platform for the regulation and strengthening of research and development was responsible for the 0.02 per cent.
According to him, in other climes, the level of research and development was as high as three and five per cent while in some cases 10 per cent.
He stressed the need to invest in research and development as well as human capital which according to him is central for economic success of any country.
Prof Bogoro further revealed that with the ad-hoc committee on board, they would help to provide strategic leadership internally to the process of implementing TETFund research and development mandate among the staff of the Fund.
The ad-hoc committee he added would be chaired by President, Nigerian Institute of Animal Science, Prof. Placid Njoku, with Mr Tope Toogun, of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, serving as the co- Chairman, while Prof. Ibrahim Katampe, the Director for Innovation and Technology Incubation at the Centre of Excellence in Emerging Technologies, Central State University, U.S.A is the Vice Chairman.
Meanwhile, Prof. Placid in his acceptance speech, decried that research and development had not been given the much needed attention in Nigeria.
He reiterated the commitment of the ad-hoc committee to work closely with the Ministry of Science and Technology to leverage with the National Assembly, to have the law establishing a Research and Development Foundation instituted.
On his part, Co-chairman of the committee Mr Toogun, in a brief remark said that the committee would work with the in-coming 9th Assembly to repackage and reposition the draft bill on the National Research and Development Council for sustainability.
TETFund R&D intervention is geared towards education-driven promotion of linkage programmes such as: Cumulate the generation and maturation of research-based development initiatives in the country amongst others.