Abuja (Sundiata Post) – The Secretary General of Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), Prof Theophilus Ndubuaku has said that the Union in collaboration with over thirty Civil Society Organidatuons (CSOs) are poised to ensure the passage of the National Research and Innovation Council Bill.
According to him, there can be no development without research and research is key to the development any nation. You know, Nigeria is the most endowed nation in the world in terms of human and material resources, in terms of diversity, quality and quantity of natural resources. With research we can change things for good in this country. We have the infrastructure to be able to achieve development through research but there is no funding and there is no coordination.
He stated that with the establishment of National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill, Nigeria that is today rated as the poverty capital of the world will witness economic boom and issue of insecurity will vanish because employment would be created. He expressed concerm that a country that is supposed to be the richest country in the world has abandoned and neglected research to the point where it has become the poverty capital of the world.
The ASURI Scribe stated this on Thursday during a strategic meeting of the ASURI/Civil Society Coalition/Campaign for research funding and strategies for National Transformation held at NASSI Secretariat, WAEC Building, Maitama Abuja.
Prof Ndubuaku who recounted that the agitation for the adequate funding of research has been on for some time, reminded that the bill has been passed twice but it was not assented to by the President. He expressed worry over the withholding of assent by the President who is the Chairman of the Council by the provisions of the policy.
He said: “though the president inaugurated the Council during the first quarter into his first tenure upon assumption of office in 2015, since then he has been holding the meeting with the ministers but nothing is coming out from the meeting because the major thing in that policy is the establishment of that Council to be able to coordinate and provide funding mechanism for research activities. This he said is why they are persistent that the NRIC Bill should be passed.
He said predicated on this and witj the coming of the 9th Assembly, they formed the Coalition and then wrote a letter to all the National Assembly members, ministers, Perm Secs in the ministry and that prompted the president to write to us to tell us that we should represent the bill. So we have been on it and it has passed first and second reading and then public hearing and now we are waiting for Senate to pass it. That is why we are briefing the Civil Society Organisations that this is where we are and we need them to come together again and endorse a letter to the presidency if the bill is passed by the Senate and House of Representatives.
The Secretary General therefore called on the federal government to ensure the funding of research through the establishment of the NRIC Bill that will take charge of funding and coordination of research so that this country can move forward and these vices bedeviling the nation will disappear into thin air.
Subdiata Post recalls that Prof Ndubuaku who linked the spate of insecurity in the country today to unemployment and underdevelopment, stressed that without research, which is key to the development of any nation, Nigeria will continue to go down.