The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, has called for a law that would make Research and Development (R&D) mandatory in all sectors of the economy.
The executive secretary, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, said it had become necessary in view of its importance to national development.
According to him, one of the major global rating indices is research, adding that for Nigeria’s rating index to improve, it must pay attention to research and development.
“We should be doing what I call problem solving research and more recently my vision of the institutionalisation of Research and Development (R&D) in Nigeria.
“That was what led to inauguration of the TETFund R&D and here there is a new impetus, a new resolve to go deeper into research, and that is to say let it be solution-driven rather than enterprise.
“Let us solve problems. Look at the challenge that we have in defence and security. Landmines are one of the main challenges out there,” he said.
Bogoro expressed concern that research was not taken seriously in the country, stressing that, “it is unfortunate that even in the university system, some people are hearing of R&D as if it is a vocabulary.
“Research has not been a priority let alone developing products of research.
“Meanwhile, there is a strong correlation in the competitive index of nations between money spent on R&D and the strength in terms of competitiveness of the economy of these nations.
“Other countries pay more attention to R&D than Nigeria and it is unfortunate that Nigeria is neither characterising researchers by way of patent or research grant holding.
“R&D has positive correlation with the strength of economy and technology of nations.
“It is the strength and technology that made Japan, that is so small, for a long time a world number two economy until only recently that China overtook it.
“Compare the population of Japan and that of China.
“That tells you that the assessment on per capita basis is on the quality of the human person.”
He further said, “I feel pained because there are three things a university lecturer does, teaching, research and community service. You cannot teach if you are not involved in profound research.
“That is why all technological products are dumped in Nigeria.
“These are the things that bother me that I decided we ought to do research and development, centralise it, institutionalise it.
“Let us have a law that compels the recognition of research and development.
“We have brilliant young people.
“When you go to centres of excellence across the world, when you consult them and they tell you who is going to take care of you after you have paid all the money, the consultant you see is a Nigerian.”
Bogoro stressed that once Nigeria centralised and elevated R&D, institutionalised it, and made it compulsory for all entities, both profit making and non profit making, to have R&D, it would change many things.
Edited By: Donald Ugwu