By Fortune Abang
Abuja – France has pledged to invest €700, 000 Euros on educational research aimed at fostering collaboration on climate change adaptation between it and Nigeria.
Mrs Leila Mathieu, Higher Education and Science Attache’ to the French Embassy in Nigeria said this while briefing journalists on the proposed project on Tuesday in Abuja.
She said that the goal of the project is to promote partnership between France and Nigeria through the creation of an environment that would encourage young scientists to be more innovative.
Mathieu said, “In order to start doing research together, it is important to know where each country is coming from.
“So, a large part of the project is to encourage mobility of scientists from France and Nigeria.
“Another is dedicated to creating the right environment and means of action.
“This involves funding workshops, short stays in relevant labs, visits from French scientists, high-level training in selected short-term programme for junior researchers, bench work, and funding for three best projects.”
Speaking, Prof. Chinedum Nwajiuba, the Vice-Chancellor, Alex Ekwueme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State described the initiative as unique in terms of promoting research studies on climate change adaptation.
According to him, the concept of the project is good because it is not something that you find easily in any higher institution of learning.
“We are trying to bring a new generation of Nigerian researchers together.
“We want to bring a team of researchers from seven Nigerian universities together to make them to be able to imagine and conceptualise projects and ideas that are not just from one university, but to also encourage them to partner with other universities.
“This is something unique and we think it is important for a new generation of researchers to think out of the box and work in other fields of study,” Nwajiuba said.
He listed Alex Ekwueme University, University of Ibadan, University of Lagos, University of Jos, Bayero University, Kano University of Science and Technology, and the Ebonyi State University as some of the institutions selected for the research.
Other institutions are Grenoble Institute of Technology (Grenoble INP), University of Grenoble, University of Lyon, Ecole Centrale de Nantes, and Museum of La Ville, all located in France.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sidelines of the event, Mr Frederic Meslin, the Head of Centrale Nantes, Mauritius, called for regular training of researchers to ensure proper research work.
“There is need to ensure researchers have well-defined objectives and thoughts to be able to succeed in their research on climate change adaptation.
“We are experiencing the effects of climate change now and some of the approaches to fighting against climate change are wrong.
“It is important for people to spend time to produce green energy,” Meslin said.
In another interview, a participant, Dr Muhammad Buhari, Lecturer, Bayero University, praised the embassy for the training, saying: “We have been taught to make good use of our research ideas and how to apply for grants, and it has been quite remarkable.
“We were taught modern ways to embark on research and also how to market our research ideas to attract funding,” Buhari said.