Nigeria’s Attitude To Research Is Frustrating … Don

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…Canvases For Adequate Funding Of TETFund

By: Mayen Etim

KADUNA, North-West, Nigeria – A Professor of Chemistry at the Nigeria Defence Academy, (NDA), Sunday Okeniyi has described Nigeria’s attitude as a nation to quality research as highly frustrating, saying this has led to collapsed of activities in universities.

He stated this at the 6th professorial inaugural lecture held at the Academy in Kaduna on Thursday, June 28, 2018.
He said this scenario explained why many highly trained university lecturers suffer the indignity of underemployment due to dearth of research facilities for original work.
Professor Okeniyi therefore canvassed for adequate funding of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to enable it intervene and also avail deserving researchers in universities with research grants or awards for quality researches within and outside the country.
He explained that the challenges facing research in tertiary institutions in Nigeria includes: inadequte or lack of state of the art equipment for research in chemistry generally; inadequate research funding or lack of accessibility to research grants, I am aware that there is TETFund research grants, but in all honesty, it is not readily available; lack of standard chemicals or restriction on use of specific chemicals and reagents.

He added that inappropriate positioning of end users in the procurement of chemicals and equipment; inadequate documentation of research findings; leading to duplicating of research work in laboratories; lack of trust and support by government and investors in the patency of research products and lack of funding/sponsorship to international conferences to attend and acquire enhanced knowledge on current trends in areas of specializations. It should not always be about presentation of papers at conferences.

Prof Okeniyi said as a matter of urgency in order to make Nigeria update in research, government should appropriate adequate funds to the NDA and other Federal universities; with an initial grant of 25 billion US dollars for expansion, to accommodate more students and to equip the laboratories and libraries to world-class standard.

“Establish an equipment factory in Nigeria for the assemblage of all types of research equipment needed by our universities or polytechnics. This can be done in collaboration with established research equipment producers such as Perkin-Elmer (USA, UK, or Germany), Pye-Unicam (USA or UK) and Varian Instruments (USA).

“Establish a chemical factory in Nigeria in collaboration with British Drug House (BDH) in London or with Aldrich Company in the USA. This will ensure steady supply of pure chemicals and solvents to all research laboratories across the nation. What we have now in Nigeria are fake chemicals and solvents from questionable agents.

“Adequately fund the tertiary education trust fund (TETFund) to enable the fund intervene and avail deserving researchers in our universities with research grants or awards for quality researches within and outside Nigeria.

“Ensure steady power supply and availability of clean water in all universities and the nation in general. A country, with epileptic power supply as we have in Nigeria today can never experience development.

“Reduce the huge salaries of all political office holders in the country by 50 per cent as a way of showing their patriotism and support for tertiary education in Nigeria. A country where a senate president earns 15 million naira a month and the university Professor who trained him receives 0.5 million naira a month ( 3 per cent of senate president’s salary) must seek divine intervention to get her priorities right.

“Increase her annual budgetary allocation to education from 6.0 per cent to 30 per cent without further delay.”

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