Charles Onyekamuo in Awka
Minister of State for Education, Prof Anthony Anwuka, has charged Nigerian universities to commercialize the end products of their researches as a way of circumventing the constraints of funds from government in the running of the higher institutions.
The minister who spoke on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University (NAU), Awka, during the sixth edition of Nigerian Universities Research and Development Fair (NURESDEF) organized by NAU in conjunction with the National Universities Commission (NUC), said commercialization of research findings remains the way forward.
According to him, there is the need for Nigerian universities to revise and specify mission statements, access new sources of funding, meet requirements for accountability and consider participation in globalization and international competition.
He described the theme of the sixth edition of NURESDEF: “Research and Innovation: a Panacea for National Industrial transportation” as both appropriate and timely noting that the country is presently at the cross roads.
“ Not only is the price of Oil down, there is a global desire to move away from the use of fossil fuels because of their association with climate change. Government has therefore, declared an urgent need for diversification of the economy”, he said.
The know-how for the achievement of this goal he said is expected from the universities, who in addition to educating students should also create research that can be commercialized into new products and services.
The fair he said should afford participants drawn from over 50 universities in the country the opportunity to show what they are doing, learn from what others are doing and in the end combine efforts into innovations which will become the pivot for the diversification of Nigerian economy.
The Vice-Chancellor of NAU, Prof. Joseph Eberendu Ahaneku had in his address said that what distinguishes universities from other tiers of tertiary institutions is research rather than academic content delivery per se, a reason it is of utmost importance that a greater thrust be given to research in Nigeria Universities.