By Kuni Tyessi
The Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, has disclosed that 32 federal, state and private universities across all geopolitical zones of the country are at different stages of research toward tackling direct and collateral impacts of COVID-19.
Rasheed, who was represented by the NUC’s Deputy Executive Secretary for Academics, Dr. Suleiman Yusuf, made this known in Abuja on yesterday at a news briefing on the contribution of the Nigerian university system toward mitigating the impact of COVID-19.
He noted that the research would be building up over the coming month as the universities would not relent on their efforts until COVID-19 was consigned to history and lessons learned for tackling future national epidemics and global pandemics.
“As at June 22, not less than 32 universities are involved in different stages of research aimed at galvanising research toward the development of vaccines and non-vaccines.
“As in many other parts of the world, the pandemic has challenged our knowledge system, which has proved inadequate and insufficient to robustly respond to the challenges.
“Only few institutions have been able to utilise open and distance learning system to keep students engaged while the pandemic lasted and only few laboratories continued with research and development activities.
“Nonetheless, the few who engaged in research and innovation work have demonstrated the need for a well-funded and robustly organised national research and innovation system to catalyse the national response,” he said.