Economic Growth: Nigeria Must Invest $2b in Research Yearly, Says Bogoro

0

By Kuni Tyessi

The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Professor Suleiman Bogoro, has said that Nigeria needs to invest about $2 billion yearly in Research and Development (R&D) to improve its current economic outlook.

Speaking at the 9th convocation ceremony of Veritas University, Abuja, Bogoro expressed concern that the country is suffering from low economic growth, due to inadequate investment and commitment to research.

According to him: “The yearly budget of an Agric institute in Brazil is about the same as TETfund’s yearly budget. The reason why research has not taken its rightful place and not contributing to the economy is because there is no fund and there is adequate commitment of funds. That is why at TETfund, we decided that one of the main recommendations is the emergence of a national R&D foundation for Nigeria.

“Presently, TETfund has been increasing its funding volume for research. It was N3 billion, but two years ago, it moved to N5 billion and last year, we increased it to N7.5 billion. Hopefully, we will raise it to N8.5 billion and yet, it is the largest research grant in Nigeria, but it is inadequate.”

He noted that the research grants, which would be used to support bachelors, masters and post-graduate studies, would also assist in helping poor undergraduate students.

“If that happens, it is the only way Nigeria can be seen to be competitive on a sustainable basis,” he said.

Bogoro observed that most of the challenges confronting the nation today were due to the inability to inject science and technology for value addition.

The TETfund boss noted that Nigerian tertiary institutions only conduct research for awarding degrees, saying, “If outcome of those researches are not problem-solving, we have failed our generation.”

The Vice-Chancellor, Veritas University, Abuja, Professor Hyacinth Ichaku, who disclosed that 32 out of the 421 graduates were awarded first class certificates, urged them to be good ambassadors of the institution.