Given the contribution of the Research Foundation in other countries, Nigeria can hope to see a boost in research initiatives with the establishment of the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF).
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has been making a case for the establishment of a National Research Foundation with hope that it will serve as a catalyst and energise research and innovation across all academic disciplines, particularly at the university and college levels.
The foundation which will assimilate the research grants being given by various ministries will ensure that the overall research ecosystem in the country is strengthened with focus on identified thrust areas relevant to our national priorities and towards basic science without duplication of effort and expenditure.
TETFund recently received the draft executive bill to establish NRDF. The executive secretary, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro said that the agency had laid a foundation for driving Nigeria’s knowledge-driven economy with the draft bill already submitted.
“When we lack the fidelity to implement our policies and lack the discipline to enforce our laws, it is precisely why Nigeria has failed. We have failed to attain our potential as a nation because of some of these areas,” the TETFund boss stated.
“Let us admit collective guilt. We shouldn’t be buck-passing. When we bring ourselves like this, those in government are there, the academia, of course, is there and the industry operators are there,” he said.
He stressed the need to rejig and reflect over governance in government and academic institutions, adding that the area of appropriate governance at all levels has failed the nation.
Similarly, the Chairman of the drafting committee, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, said the committee was inaugurated two months ago to draft an executive Bill for the establishment of the research and development foundation. Yadudu said the bill had the support and endorsement of the federal government and would be forwarded to the education minister for approval before submitting it to the National Assembly.
“The bill seeks to establish a national research and development foundation to Institutionalise, mainstream and commercialize research and development, promote innovation and support enterprise development for job and wealth creation for a knowledge-driven economy for Nigeria,” Yadudu stated.
Despite the fact that research is the tool that drives development in any nation, in Nigeria the field is being faced with numerous challenges which make it necessary for the establishment of the Foundation, according to the experts.
However, TETFund boss Bogoro continues to push for the establishment of the Foundation, which according to him lies the solution confronting the development of research in Nigeria, his push which has finally led to draft an executive bill for the establishment of the foundation recently.
eceiving the draft executive bill, Bogoro said it will lay a foundation for driving Nigeria’s knowledge-driven economy, adding that the country has no option other than to embrace knowledge in its pursuit of economic development.
According to him, the document is clear on what it intends to accomplish, which is the establishment of a national research and development foundation that will coordinate research efforts in the country to usher it into a knowledge-based economy.
While applauding the committee for its efforts and said it was on a historic mission for the country, Mr Bogoro noted that each of the persons invited to the R&D committee was mandated to make a specific contribution for the country.
The TETFund boss said Nigeria’s economy cannot be competitive if it does not institutionalise research and development, R&D.
“When we lack the fidelity to implement our policies and lack the discipline to enforce our laws, it is precisely why Nigeria has failed. We have failed to attain our potential as a nation because of some of these areas.
“And let us admit collective guilt we shouldn’t be back-passing; so when we bring ourselves like this, those in government are there, the academia, of course, are there; the industry operators are there.
“We agree to come together to speak the same language, the ultimate outcome, we agree to be a more competitive Nigerian economy and the nation overall,” he added.
According to him, there was a need to rejig and reflect over the issue of governance in government and academic institutions, adding that many times the area of appropriate governance at all levels has failed the nation.
He said the most competitive nations are those that have recognised and placed innovation and creativity as the lead element that drives society.
“The greatest of thinkers in history were those that drove the direction of their nations; the greatest of thinkers do things beyond the average persons,” he said.
This is just as he stressed that a new vista is emerging in Nigeria with the inauguration of the draft committee on the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) bill.
He was quoted saying, “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 institutionalization of R&D.P
“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 realistic beginning for the knowledge economy to take its rightful place in our country.
Others have also shared the opinion of the executive secretary. The Chairman of the Drafting Committee, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, said the bill has the support and endorsement of the executive and will be forwarded to the Minister of Education for approval before submission to the National Assembly.
“The bill seeks to establish a national research and development foundation to Institutionalise, mainstream and commercialise research and development, promote innovation and support enterprise development for job and wealth creation for a knowledge-driven economy for Nigeria.
“Everything else that we do will remain in our laboratories, in our thesis, in our classrooms if it is not translated into some applications, some uses which will require the intervention and participation of the industry,” he said.
According to him, the bill recommends a governance structure that is true to the specifications and ideas generated by the document supplied to them, adding that it envisages a management team that will comprise of the different elements that will be autonomous and drive the process once inaugurated.
He said when passed into law, the bill will give birth to a foundation that will build on and further support and complement efforts of the TETFund.
Yadudu noted that in drafting the bill, key legal officers from the Ministry of Justice were well represented and provided the most critically needed professional services.
According to him, thoughts were given to various sources of funding, that are varied and diverse but innovative, stressing that the foundation cannot just think of the few available, easy ways of generating funding for research.