TETFund boss rallies support for establishment of National R&D Foundation
The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Bogoro has expressed optimism that the proposed National Research and Development (R&D) Foundation will be established within the next nine months to cater for the development needs of the country.
He made this known on Thursday in Abuja when he led the Fund’s R&D sub-committee on Defence and Security on a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval of Staff, Vice Admiral, Ibok Ekwe Ibas.
Bogoro, who is the convener of the TETFund Standing Committee on R&D, solicited the support of the Nigeria Navy towards the take-off of the Foundation.
He noted that the country has been faced with many challenges today, requiring a technological and innovative approach to address them, stressing that Nigeria could not run a knowledge-based economy without placing emphasis on Research and Development.
He said: “We are requesting that you support the case for the emergence of the R & D Foundation. The most competitive technologies and economies in the world have something similar to this.
“In Nigeria, we don’t have it…, the National R&D Foundation will be the largest funding body for research but it is not just funding, the target application of the funds in the areas that these subcommittees are identifying carefully that they will advise us leading to our interface with Attorney General of the Federation when the bill is developed.
“And to the National Assembly and to all of us, we seek your support to encourage us. We are hoping that the Foundation should come perhaps much less than nine months from now,” Bogoro said.
He also called on the Nigeria Navy to partner with TETFund in promoting R&D in Nigeria, saying such a move will bring about a knowledge-based economy and ensure security challenges are tackled by leveraging on research output.
On his part, the Chief of Naval Staff commended TETFund for the massive transformation of tertiary education institutions in the country.
He said the Navy has continued to accord prominence to R & D which is evidenced in the construction of ships and other innovations.
While calling for support for Admiralty University, Ibusa, jointly owned by the Navy and private entity, the Navy Chief pledged to provide all the inputs needed by the sub-committee to enable them to succeed in their mandate.
The TETFund boss, who also led the delegation on a visit to the Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd), said the time has come for Nigeria to expedite action on the establishment of the National R&D Foundation to address present developmental challenges.
The Minister in his response, threw his weight behind the proposed R & D Foundation, saying it has become necessary to enhance the development of home-grown solutions to the various needs in every sector of the country.
While commending TETFund for championing research in the country, the minister assured of his full support for the Foundation.
Earlier, the Coordinator of the Defence and Security Subcommittee, Air Vice Marshal Onyemaechi Osahor, said the subcommittee’s aim is to ensure self-reliance of the armed forces of Nigeria in platform and equipment holding through collaborative research with academia and industry.
The sub-committee on Defence and Security is among 13 others under the TETFund Standing Committee on R&D, chaired by Prof. Njiddah Gadzama