The Federal Government has inaugurated a 160-member standing committee of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Research and Development (R&D) to deepen research for the growth and development of the country.
At the event in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, represented by the Minister of State for Education, Mr Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba said the committee members were drawn from a pool of Nigerian researchers and innovators, representatives of relevant MDAs, and the private sector.
Mr Nwajiuba urged members of the committee to put their best to the national assignment.
He said that continued investment in research would herald a rebirth of Nigeria.
“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.
“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT)
“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, urged the Federal Government to increase its annual funding for research and development (R&D) to $1 billion every year.
While commending President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion, Prof. Bogoro said massive investment in research would bring about the desired development in the country.
Speaking further, the TETFund boss also made a case for the promulgation of a law that would bring into full force a National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF).
“To galvanise our vision towards making R&D the ace and game-changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation cannot be overstated.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman, said the work of the committee would open the windows of opportunities to tackle various developmental challenges confronting the country.
Suleiman, represented by Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya, lamented the way Nigeria has shown less concern to research, saying that many developed countries invested in research and development and thus helped to improve on their economy.
The Chairman of the over 160-member TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, said the epoch making event will transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.
“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive industrialization of the country,” h e said.
The Standing Committee whose membership is drawn from the academic, industry and private sector, has the President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Mansur Ahmed, as one of the three Vice Presidents.