By Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
Researchers in Nigeria have advocated the formulation of a national policy on industry and academia partnership to enhance synergy and the transfer of research into products and services.
Speaking during a virtual meeting organised by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Research and Development Standing Committee, RDSC, on Institutionalisation of R&D in Industrialisation, manufacturing, Trade, Investment and Economy thematic group, the researchers stressed the need for Nigeria to utilise research to grow a competitive economy on its areas of comparative advantage such as agriculture.
President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Engr Mansur Ahmed, who chaired the meeting, noted that the country should aim for sustained economic growth, build the capacity of its manufacturing sector and expand its trade policies.
While appreciating the leadership and commitment of the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, for initiating the process of institutionalising R&D in the country, Ahmed said “we need a clear strategy for expanding our energy sector to support our industrialisation strategy; we need to upscale the skills of Nigerians.”
He expressed confidence that R&D has enough potentials to grow the country’s manufacturing sector, noting that the country must factor research in a way that fits the industrialisation process to grow its economy in a way that Nigeria becomes an industrialised nation.
“We all recognised that R&D has been the major driver of economies across the world and every aspect of life but it has not had that impact in Nigeria, that especially, we believe that we have potentials given the enormous human and material resources that are at our disposal.
He added that the R&D initiative which seeks to anchor research in the country’s economy was overdue, stating that the time to institutionalise research in Nigeria is now.
According to him, the socio economic aspects of industrialisation, manufacturing, trade, investment and economy constitutes the social transition from the output of research and development into the provision of products and services for human livelihood.
A Vice Chairman of the TETFund RDSC, Prof Anya O. Anya, in his remarks, noted that Nigeria must aim at double digits economic growth and single digit inflation, adding that it is only when the country’s economy grows at 7.5 per cent of GDP per annum that the country can overcome some of its challenges and induce competitiveness.