Don urges FG to increase funding for scientific research
THE Federal Government has been urged to increase funding for scientific research in the country, to keep pace with advancement in other parts of the world.
A professor of Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Abuja, Prof. Joseph Nwafor Nwabueze stated this at the 12th Inaugural lecture of the institution titled: “Igwe Na Ndu: The role of metals in life.”
Prof. Nwabueze implored the government to stop paying lip services to science and technology but rather make available special intervention funds to universities to adequately equip their basic science departments for teaching and research.
Nwabueze noted that the state of science research in Nigeria is deplorable because of lack of modern research facilities, which he described as twin problems of lack of infrastructures and poor funding.
“ Everybody agrees that science primarily is the bedrock of sustainable development. Scientific research in Nigeria is being hindered by the twin problem of infrastructure and poor funding.
“The laboratories are without chemical and research equipment. Municipal services that are taken for granted in other climes are lacking.
The lecturer said well-equipped advanced science laboratories should be established, at least one in each geopolitical zone which should have sophisticated research equipment.
Nwabueze commended the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for its “sustained struggle for better funding of the university.
The former deputy vice-chancellor academic, also cautioned the federal government against politicising the opening of new federal universities in the country.
He said if the federal government could not adequately fund 24 universities, how does it hope to fund 37.
He maintained that the resources used in creating the 13 universities should have been used to expand and adequately fund the existing ones.
“I do not believe that universities should be established for political reasons. Why must there be a university in each state of the federation, even in those states that hardly fill their quota in existing federal institutions?” he said.
According to him the increase in the number of federal universities has further worsened the situation of underfunding in the education sector in the country.
“If this trend is not halted, we may soon be confronted with demands for the establishment of a federal university in each of the 774 local government councils.