An entrepreneur, Engr. Chukwudi Dimkpa, has decried the over-dependence of Nigeria on foreign solutions to challenges facing the country.
He, therefore, called on tertiary institutions in Nigeria to concentrate on research for the development of home-grown solutions to challenges facing the country.
Dimkpa spoke on Thursday while at the official flag-off and launching of a research centre and secretariat of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) at the Kenule Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori, Rivers State.
Dimkpa, who was honoured with an award by ASUP, said: “Tertiary institutions are seen quite rightly as citadels of learning and advancement of knowledge. While knowledge in itself is power, effective use of that power can only be achieved where the said knowledge is implemented for the greater good and benefit of majority of the people.
“The world over, tertiary institutions which are hailed as the best, have one thing in common, decades of research activities, in some cases this experience stretches into centuries. They have been able to deploy the benefits of this culture into solving the various problems that have bedeviled their respective societies and environments at every turn.
“The goal of every research center is to enable interaction between faculty, scholars, students and industry to enhance research opportunities, academic excellence, real world problem-solving and knowledge creation and dissemination.
“The importance of the above mentioned goal cannot be overemphasised, especially in the society we have found ourselves in today. We are a country blessed with immense human and material resources.
“However, our inability to believe in our own abilities to solve the myriad of problems we face, our lack of investment in and proper coordination of our educational assets have seen us constantly rely on foreigners for the
provision of the solution to our problems.
“We fail to understand that a home-grown solution is the best way to go. The COVID-19 pandemic is a clear example of this. While the developed world was able to marshal their considerable resources into the study of the virus and the production of vaccines to combat it, we waited with bated breath and prayers on our lips. The result of this neglect stares us in the face.”