The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has expressed hope that the proposed National Research and Development (R&D) Foundation will come into force within the next nine months.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, made this known in Abuja on Thursday 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 TETFund Standing Committee on R&D, solicited the support of the Nigeria Navy towards the take-off of the Foundation.
“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 such foundation and having such will be the largest funding body for research but it is not just funding, the target application of the funds is 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 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.
Responding, 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 was evidenced in the construction of ships and other innovations.
He called for support for Admiralty University, Ibusa, which is jointly owned by the Navy and private entity, while also pledging to provide all the inputs needed by the sub-committee to enable them 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.
Responding, the minister 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 sub-committee’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.