Wealthy Nigerians, institutions urged to fund research

NIOB President, Kunle Awobodu

The President, Nigerian Institute of Building (NIOB), Kunle Awobodu, has urged wealthy Nigerians and institutions to invest in research for societal development.

Awobodu made the call during the second lecture series of the Association of Builders in Academia (ABA) on ‘Exploring opportunities for Research Grants, Conferences and Publications.’

Awobodu equally challenged participants to also explore local sources of funding for their research endeavours. Bringing research outputs to a finished level for society’s adoption is a crucial part of the research ecosystem, he averred.

He said NIOB’s commitment to research manifested in its ongoing efforts at realising the development of a world-class research centre in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Part of the key objectives of the Centre is to research into alternative building materials and promotion of skills for the nation’s development.

The Chairman of the Association, Prof. Martin Dada, had earlier set the tone for the lecture and urged participants to continue in the search for workable ideas to advance society.

The resource persons, Sani Kunya, a Professor of Building and a former Sub Dean of Students Affairs of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi and James Rotimi, an Associate Professor of Construction Management at the Massey University, New Zealand spoke on the theme.

Kunya explained the concept of research grant and related it to the mandate and history of the Nigerian Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND). He also challenged participants to source research grants for advancing scientific knowledge, career development, increased visibility and supplementing provisions for the development of new programmes in their respective institutions.

Rotimi emphasised that researches should aim at closing the gap between the industry and the academia. According to him, the researchers should engage industry to identify industry’s concerns. “Beyond scoring points in publications, the researcher must demonstrate the impact of his research on society or sectors,” he said.

Prof. Mike Oladokun of the Federal University of Oye, Ekiti State shared his experience of how he won a research grant of about a million South African Rands (about N30 million) from The World Academy of Sciences. Oladokun drew from this and other experiences to encourage participants to persevere in proposal writing and the attendant search for funding.

The programme was attended by Prof. Abimbola Windapo of the University of Cape Town, Prof. Myha Stanley, Prof. Godwin Idoro, Prof. Akananiye Umoh and Abdulhameed Sambo of the Council of Registered Builders of Nigeria.

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Kunle AwoboduNIOB
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