Doosuur Iwambe, Abuja
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (Tetfund) has said that it partnership with the Nigerian Army will boost defence capabilities through research and development innovations.
This is just as TETFund unveiled a 13-man Defence and Security Research and Development Subcommittee to lead efforts on collaborative research in defence and operations.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro said that research and development was key to the development of every nation.
He said, for the defence and military sectors to meet up with the global standard of protecting its citizens it has become necessary to embrace research and development.
He said, “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 disclosed that the TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee, which is chaired by Prof Njiddah Gadzama, has vice chairmen drawn from the industry, academia, and government in line with the triple helix concept.
READ ALSO: BREAKING: Buhari addresses Nigerians at 7pm
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.
On his part, chairman TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee, Gadzama, said no country has made it without strong research and development component of the government.
He described the army as a special group he was happy to tag along in research efforts, adding that the 160 members of the standing committee are highly specialised people put together.
He called on the military to support the committee in actualising its vision of establishing a national research foundation as without security all the 12 groups including would not achieve anything.
He added that apart from the military, the committee had twelve more research groups including agriculture, environmental resources, medicine, pharmaceuticals, ICT, digital economy, petroleum resources, solid mineral and mining, industrialisation, engineering technology and material science, infrastructural development, education, energy, governance, social development and internal security.
In his response, Buratai said that Nigeria Army placed premium on research and development which had given birth to a number of innovations in the area of military hardware.
He said the army had since established the department of Innovation and Transformation as well as the Resource Centre where issues of research and development were being handled.
He added that the army had through research innovation, produced a number of equipment to aid its operations such as Ezugwu MRAP and other combat vehicles among others.
”The department of Innovation and Transformation was established and over the years, it has participated in research and development exhibitions, seminar and workshops both at home and abroad.
“One of the great researchers in Nigerian Army has through his innovation produced what we have today as Ezugwu MRAPs and he has not taken glory for that innovation.
Daily Times reports that Buratai assured that the army would support the effort of Tetfund in encouraging research and development in the area of defence and security, adding that the country would have gone far if the initiative was conceived earlier.
He also assured of army’s support to the research and development committee towards establishing the National Research and Development Foundation being conceived.