How does a country which pays little or no attention to research and development grow? The sad reality is that the case is the same in many parts of the continent. African leaders do not see the need to invest in research and development. This is perhaps the reason behind the low level of development on the continent.
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) in Nigeria, Suleiman Bogoro made a shocking revelation this week when he revealed that the country invests only 0.02 percent of its revenue on research and development.
He made this known Thursday in Abuja at the inauguration of the Ad-hoc Committee on Research and Development set up by the Fund with the aim to deepen its research and development mandate.
This came as a surprise to many considering the fact that the President of the country, Muhammadu Buhari had in 2015 promised to increase investment in research, science, and technology.
The revelation by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) reveals that the president was only making baseless promises. Nothing has been done in the past 4 years.
Mr. Bogoro described the allocation to the sector as “very dismal and unacceptably low.”
”In most of the developed world, it is three percent to five percent. Some nearly 10 percent in more serious, technologically-driven economies of the world. And we are at 0.02 percent in the percentage committed to research and development. It’s one of the very lowest in the world, very embarrassingly too,” he said.
You will agree that investment in research, development and human capital is central to the economic success of any country.
The TETfund boss, however, said his agency will not relent in its effort to continually advocate the establishment by law of a National Research and Development Foundation to ensure a coordinated national framework for the sustenance and implementation of Research and Development.
”We will work with the 9th Assembly to repackage, re-position and reconstruct the bill.
“With the accelerated growth of a new global economy and the urgent focus on socio-economic issues, there is a need for a national re-calibration and re-sensitization of operations and policies targeted at a sustainable innovative research and development operations.
“It is in this vein that TETFund, propelled by my vision, continues to advocate the establishment by law of a National Research and Development Foundation that will ensure a coordinated national framework for the sustenance and implementation of Research and development”; he said.
Mr. Bogoro further added that the foundation would “promote an effective interface between universities, government and the private sector especially the industrial sub sector of the economy.”
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, Human Capital, Nigeria Economic Summit Group, Tope Toguun, said: “the proposed National Research and Innovation Bill is defective because it does not support university research but appears more focused on non-university-affiliated research institutes.”
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Quotes Credit: Premium Times
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