Professor Suleiman Bogoro, Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says he is confident that the inauguration of the draft committee on the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) bill would hope a new vista of hope for research and development in Nigeria.
Bogoro stated that there is great hope for Nigeria once the bill is signed.
“A new vista is emerging in our country that gives hope that we could do something right and we proceed to define the knowledge economy through the institutionalization of R&D,” he said.
He spoke during the fourth edition of the virtual Global Engagement Series: “The Paradigm Shift, with focused on the Institutionalization of R&D in Nigeria’s Engineering, Technology And Material Sciences Sector”.
“It is a long but realizable journey of reality for our country but I remain positive and I am happy to share this information with you today that from today the draft committee on the research foundation that will prepare the executive bill has been inaugurated by the federal ministry of education. It reflects a new beginning, a real beginning for the knowledge economy to take its rightful place in our country.”
Professor Mosto Onouha, the lead presenter at the event, stressed the imperative of strengthening the curricula in technological entrepreneurship in universities and polytechnics across the country, and the linkages between academia and the industry through the establishment of intellectual property technological transfer offices.
“We want to develop a culture of introducing technological innovations that can yield significant revenues that will positively impact on our economy and reduce dependence on earnings from crude oil and gas sales for financing our national budget and gradually become a nation that designs and invents things that can be branded and marketed globally,” Onuoha said.
He emphasised that there is an ‘urgent need for our nation to establish an institutional framework for funding and management of R&D activities for its sustainable development2.
Onuhua singled out the Executive Secretary TETfund for commendation over the current effort to do something about the situation.
“To improve the competitiveness of our goods and services, enhance the ranking of our tertiary institutions on the global scale and for the nation to move from a resources-based economy driven by innovation, adequate funding of R&D especially, in engineering, technology and maternal science should be provided.”
“An institutional framework needs to be put in place to domicile, drive and oversee Nigeria’s progress to a knowledge-based economy. The National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) is the special purpose vehicle being recommended to actualize the above.”
On his part, Professor Njidda Gadzama, the Chairman of the TETfund Research and Development Standing Committee, cited that countries like the United State are allocating tremendously financial sources for science and technology, saying that it is only fair, that indeed the matter is an emergency matter in Nigeria.
“We urgently need the early actualisation of the national research development foundation, which we have all been crying for so that this foundation can completely recommend with the means of bringing areas of knowledge base links.”