N1.5bn research fund lying idle, says Fashola

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By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsur Olowoopejo

LAGOS — Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, expressed concern over the non-utilisation of N1.5 billion in the state’s 2013 budget earmarked for the funding of research in tertiary institutions.

He called on the academics to access the research fund for the purpose of development, saying his administration had spent N237,619 million on bursaries and scholarships.

The governor spoke on the occasion of his 2,200 days in office and account of stewardship, held at Lagos State University, LASU, with students, lecturers and stakeholders.

Fashola said: “I am re-assuring Lagosians that your government remains focused on service delivery and our commitment to you in the remaining two years will not be different from our commitment on the first day.

“The decision to move this edition of our 100-day accounting period to LASU and dedicate it to communicating with higher education institutions and the undergraduates in training is deliberate.

“We are also operating an After-School Graduate Development Programme, where we are investing graduates with new skills to help them adapt to the needs of our economy and find well-paid jobs or start their own business.

“We have also created in the state’s budget a provision to fund research and I have inaugurated a committee to set guidelines for access. Currently, for this year, N1,500,000,000.00 was budgeted and to my knowledge no person has applied for the research fund.”

… raises alarm over food wastage

BY Monsur Olowoopejo

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has raised alarm over the huge volume of food wasted daily in the country.

Fashola, who spoke at a ceremony in Ikeja to mark the 2013 Environmental Day on the theme Think, Eat and Save, lamented that the huge quantity of food wasted daily in the country contributed significantly to current global warning.

In a recent research, the state said over N1 billion was spent monthly by residents on entertainment.

The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, said: “The staggering amount of food wasted in the country is wholly unacceptable and a huge drain on the country’s precious resources.

“With the population of the country, wasting food just makes no sense because the world is resource-constrained: economically, environmentally and ethically.

“For instance, the United Nation Food and Agriculture Organisation, FAO, said that 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted globally. This is equivalent to the same amount produce in the entire sub-Saharan Africa.

“They said that one out of every seven people in the world, including Nigeria, go to bed hungry and more than 20,000 children under the age of five, die daily from hunger.”

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