The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof Suleiman Bogoro, has stated that the fight against insecurity cannot be won if the nation ignores the funding of Research and Development (R&D).
Bogoro, who stated this while giving his opening speech during the second edition of the virtual Global Engagement Series: The Paradigm Shift, which focused on the Institutionalization of R&D in Nigeria’s Defence and Security Sector on Tuesday, lamented that the issue of insecurity has affected every facets of the country’s economy.
He, therefore, urged the Research and Development Standing Committee (RDSC) to recognise the weight of the responsibility bestowed on them, adding that its observations and recommendations will aid the institutionalization of R&D in the country and at the same time, bring about the ultimate outcome which is the establishment of the National R&D Foundation (NRDF).
The Executive Secretary who was amongst the delegates that accompanied President Muhammadu Buhari to France, revealed that TETFund had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with some institutions in France on the training of lab technologists in the county.
Giving a presentation on Institutionalising of R&D in Nigeria’s Defence and Security Sector, Coordinator of the Defence and Security Thematic Group, AVM Jomo Osahor (rtd), stated that Nigeria’s solutions to insecurity required evolving of a new mythology that relies on pro-activeness and empirical data-based evidence garnered through R&D.
He lamented that Nigeria’s current R&D effort was in silos and not in tandem with industry needs and aspirations adding that it was incapable of translating into the requisite innovative and technological products required for the advancement in defence equipment and platform production.
Osahor also decried the weak partnership between academia, Industry and defence and proposed for a better structured, need-oriented and well-funded defence R&D mechanism to enhance the security and territorial integrity of the country.
He revealed that the NRDF was a key ingredient required for ensuring proper linkages and realization of a knowledge-based economy in the country adding that the Foundation will no doubt bridge the existing gap and sharpen the focus which will place the country R&D on a firm pedestal.
Osahor noted that Nigeria’s dependence on foreign sources for military hardware was risky because when the country is in dire need, political and other constraints might block attempts to procure needed equipment and spare parts.
On the way forward, the group, Osahor stated, proposed the establishment of an independent NRDF to be domiciled under the presidency and also the funding of Defence R&D through the Foundation.
He added that the R&D centres in the Armed Forces of Nigeria were poorly funded and proposed the reviewing of the establishment of those centres to enable collaborative research with the academia and industries.