Researchers to Unveil Strategies to Achieve Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda

Researchers to Unveil Strategies to Achieve Tinubu’s Eight-Point Agenda

Michael Olugbode in Abuja

Researchers in the country are set to unveil strategies toward achieving the eight priority agenda of President Bola Tinubu.

This was the outcome of the National Research, Development and Innovation Coordination Summit. The summit was convened and facilitated by Research for Impact, Knowledge Economy, and Sustainable Development (RIKE-SD) and organised by West and Central Africa Research and Education Network (WACREN) with financial support from Foreign Commonwealth Development Office, UK.

Speaking at the closing of the summit in Abuja at the weekend, the Global Impact lead, Research for Impact Knowledge Economy and Sustainable Development ( RIKE SD), Dr. Mustapha Popoola, said the group of researchers plan to provide workable solutions to pronouncements of the president, especially his eight-point agenda.

The blueprint, according to him, would be presented to President Tinubu by 29 May 2024 when he marks a year in office.

Mustapha said the private sector-driven innovation aimed at tackling various challenges bothering the country through Research, Development and Innovation.

Mustpha stressed that the initiative aimed at moving the president’s pronouncements from an instruction to practical implementation.

He said: “Over the decades there has been the same problem, problem of research is not making money, research commercialization problem, everything people have been talking about RDI whereas, Mr. Presidents, in his wisdom has actually directed the need for us to institutionalize research development or innovation across board.”

He noted that as it happens in other climes, when a presidential pronouncement is made, it gives life and it is actually a national direction, and researchers in Nigeria have taken the steps to follow the president’s directive.

He said: “So we take it and in taking it we are making sure that we are taking it to the next level. So the first thing we want to do is to interrogate the Presidential priority areas, eight of them.

“So it’s like we are using the directory of the president using the toolkit that we have with us as a people before and as experts to now provide solution to the agenda been set for the country by Mr. President.

“So for the past three days, we have actually been doing that. And we have our working groups who are actually going to be reconstituted as the national think tank for the presidential priority areas.

“We are saying for the first time, we are launching out Research, Development and Innovation think tank that will be looking at the agenda of Mr. President, and particularly the priority areas.

“So in this room, we have eight groups that have been working on for the past 48 hours on this agenda. And the next thing is for us to allow going to the phase of evidence and synthesis, and come back with solutions to our national problems that are under each of the agenda.

“And to actually get that one down to Mr. President, for implementation, and see those that need to go to the private sector.”

He said the idea would be demand driven with emphasis on end users of the research work

Mustapha added: “That is, we are actually looking at the end users of those research which are the communities. So the communities are going to be on display, but as a new approach to make sure that we deliver results.

“So in the past three days, we’ve set out to actually achieve that. And we have actually done a great job. We believe before May 29, 2024 when the President would be celebrating his first year in office, he would have a clear blueprint of what research, development or innovation can be used to catalyze the achievement of his eight priority areas.

“So that is what we promise. that’s what we want to deliver. And we are actually looking at initializing this particular platform at both state and non-state levels, at national and sub national level, so that we can actually build sustainability into it.”

Also speaking to journalists at the closing of the Summit, the former Director General, Defence Research and Development Bureau, Air Vice Marshall (AVM) Jomo Osahor (Rtd) said efforts are on to ensure that Nigeria joins in the knowledge-based economy, stressing that Nigeria cannot afford to be left behind in the transformation era.

He said: “We are all aware that the great nations and the nations that are making so much progress in their economies and every sector of their development have moved away from resource base to a knowledge base, and that is what the whole world is doing – going on knowledge-based economy.

“So research and development is very essential in the development of every nation, because you need to be creative. You need to be innovative. You don’t have to depend on the ideas that are foreign.

“Most of the times you face some unique challenges; and this unique challenges you cannot buy their solutions off the shelf and even if you can, they might not be willing to sell it to you for political reasons or other reasons.

“But when you have developed it yourself, then you can always use it and until you get to that level as a nation, where you are independent in the production of your needs, you are not independent.

“So I think research and development is something that is key. And that is why this summit is very timely and very important.”

Former Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Elias Bogoro, on his part, stressed the importance of research in a knowledge-based economy.

Bogoro said it would be difficult for any country to move forward without research, adding that: “Talking about knowledge economy. And as you can imagine, research is at the center and defining line of knowledge economy.

“You cannot undertake advancement without generating information based on investigation, creativity, and innovation as it were. And I think that is exactly the situation and the world is operating knowledge economy in the 21st century.

“Nigeria could not be different. And government realizes this. Precisely why, for quite a long time, I’ve seen very strong involvement, facilitation and support of government through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, and the Ministry of Budget and National Planning.”

The Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa commended the summit, stressing importance of research, development and innovation.

She said: “Because without data, without research, without developments, we cannot grow.

“So we see what other countries are doing with it. We should not be left behind. And that is why Mr. President himself has stressed the need for research, development and innovation.

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