Funding, data keeping, inconsistent policies hinder research development
Some of the researchers, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Abuja, also said that proper environment for Science, and Innovation (STI) was not yet available in the country.
According to them, a conducive environment is needed for growth and utilisation of research findings and for this to happen, many factors have to be considered.
The factors include adequate infrastructure, trained manpower, institutional capacity, adequate financial support, and motivating of the entire population to adopt a science culture as a pattern of life.
Dr Gloria Elemo, the Director-General, Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO), said that there was need for strong data bank for researches in the country.
“There is need to keep record of a huge number of research works that are out there in the universities and in the research institutes in order to bridge data gap associated with our research findings.
“We need to have strong data bank for very concrete data base. It is not only in the area of research and development, but every other sector of the economy,’’ she said.
She called for positive policy direction toward STI development in the country.
According to Elemo, President Muhammadu Buhari during his stewardship as head of state in the 80s banned importation of barley upon discovery of sorghum as a better substitute in malt and beer production by FIIRO.
“That policy encouraged commercialisation of research works on the use of barley in manufacturing of malt drink and beer in the country, which encouraged barley farming in the country,” she said.
Mrs Grace Takerhi, the Deputy Director, Science Education, Federal Ministry of Education said that availability of funds for research and technology development in the country would go a long way in promoting STI development.
“Availability of more research funding will help the nation’s institutions of learning to have more research facilities for manpower development,” she said.
Similarly, Prof. Oyewale Tomori, the President, Nigerian Academy of Science, said that there was need to change the approach to implementation of STI policy in the country.
He also harped on the need to have consistent policy rather than constant changes in policy on research anytime there was a change of administration.
“We should start looking at how to ensure accountability, integrity and so on in implementing every policy including research policy on STI.
“Also, there is need to ensure that performance and assigned task is well monitored and documented for the achievement and improvement on any set goal,” Tomori said.
Prof. Seidu Mohammed, the Director-General, National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) on his part, said that adequate publicising of researches could also help in the development of research works in the country.
“It is not the duty of the researchers to be publicising their works, government-own media organisations should set up a unit for publicising research works in the country,” he said.
Dr Adeneye Talabi, the Director of Technology Acquisition and Adaptation, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology (FMST) said that main target of the ministry was to advance research activities to grow nation’s economy.
He however assured that nation in no distance future would be at the threshold of scientific and technological breakthrough with the involvement of state governments and the practical implementation of STI Policy.
Talabi said that increased use of local raw materials and inputs by Nigerian manufacturers would widen the scope of research and development in the country.
He said that the Federal Government had been intensifying effort to fast track Nigeria’s technological development by promoting increased use of local raw materials via appropriate policies.
He said that there was need for a purposeful collaboration between the FMST and the various research institutions under its purview as well as with the Organised Private Sector under the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) to effectively translate research findings into the productive use.
“The same collaboration is being sought with the ministry and research institutes for local raw materials development,’’ he said.
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