Academia major challenge to research in Nigeria — Minister

ABU Zaria
ABU Zaria gate used to illustrate the story. (Photo taken by Idris Ibrahim)

Nigeria’s Minister of State, Science and Technology, Mohammed Abdullahi, has said the academia pose a major challenge to research development in the nation.

He said this during a roundtable at the Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja on Monday.

The roundtable was made up of Executive Secretary Nigerian Union of Universities (NUC), Abubakar Rasheed; Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Fund( TETFUND), Suleiman Bogoro, Adeola Olubamji and Marito Garcia.

According to him, “the basic challenge (to research) is from the academia in the universities who fail to loosen up and comply”.

“Sometimes our academia are too academic and it does not make sense when they carry out researches and it is not commercialised,” he said.

He called for more collaboration between researchers and academic institutions.

“No need for the ongoing confrontation between institutions and researchers,” he said.

He said the government will collaborate with the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in promoting research and development in the country

Mr Abdullahi said capital-driven research and technology will propel an enabling environment for innovation in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Rasheed said part of the reforms in the commission is to ensure that researches by students in institutions are relevant to the country.

“Why can we not produce drugs that will help fight malaria?” he said. “Industries and research centres are advised to work with universities or have ambassadors, so there will be a change in the learning process.”

He sought the support of the government to promote relevant researches in institutions that will promote the economy.

Mr Rasheed disclosed that the Central Bank of Nigeria has completed centres of excellence in some institutions across the country.

“These centers for excellence are efforts to improve research, development and innovation within the country,” he said.

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The TETFund boss, Mr Bogoro, said Nigerian Universities need R and D unit (research and development) in the academic community.

He said “nobody talks about growth without research. We want R and D to support academic purposes.”

Mr Bogoro lamented “poor funding which is the backbone of low researches in institutions in Nigeria”.

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