Wale Oke tasks FG, NASS on research funding

CHANCELLOR of the Precious Cornerstone University, (PCU), Ibadan, Bishop Francis Wale Oke, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari administration to evolve a mechanism of making funds accessible to researchers in Nigeria.

Specifically, Oke said there was an urgent need for the government and other relevant stakeholders to assist researchers who are battling to save lives through their works, especially during periods like this.

Tribune Online reports that Dr Oke, who is the presiding bishop of the Sword of the Spirit Ministries, also appealed to the National Assembly to enact laws that would make it compulsory for relevant agencies to finance research efforts.

He made these remarks on Thursday while speaking during a lunch organised at his behest in honour of some Nigerian scientists from some institutions in the country who developed two preventive vaccines on coronavirus pandemic.

The renowned cleric lauded the team coordinated by the vice-chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University (PCU), Professor Kola Oloke and Dr Oladipo Kolawole of Adeleke University, Ede.

“COVID-19 is a war without a gun that has left thousands of people dead around the globe,” he lamented.

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He implored the Federal Government, the National Assembly and related shareholders to support researchers with genuine proof by funding their works.

“I am appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari and others in his team to rise in support of Nigerian scientists by making funds available to them.

“They are brainy and making waves all over the world. They just need that support. The National Assembly should legislate on how to make research funding accessible to researchers while the Central Bank of Nigeria and the concerned private sector should do the needful,” he added.

According to him, the future of any nation depends on research.

Also speaking at the occasion, the proprietor of Adeleke University, Dr Deji Adeleke, who was represented by the Dean, Faculty of Science, Professor Olubukola Oyawoye, expressed the readiness of the university to ensure that the research efforts come to fruition.

Dr Adeleke said the efforts of the researchers in developing two preventive vaccines on coronavirus were commendable and should be supported by the government and well-meaning individuals in the country.

Giving an overview of the efforts at developing the vaccines, Professor Oloke said the research work took them more than two months to arrive at the present point, adding that the team was at the point of animal trial experiment.

The vice-chancellor lamented that funding had been a major undoing of most universities in their research efforts.

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