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Nigerian scientists seek increased funding for research

By Chioma Obinna

With recent revolution in research globally, scientists have blamed the Nigeria’s backwardness in research and development on poor funding and lack of political will on the part of government, individuals and corporate organisations.

The scientists spoke at a public lecture organised by Alexander Von Humboldt in collaboration with College of Medicine University of Lagos, CMUL and other partners in Lagos with the theme: Multidisciplinary Forum on Molecular Technology: Laying the Foundation for Revolutionized research in Nigeria”.

In his views, the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research, NIMR, Prof Babatunde  Salako said there is need to persuade governments, individuals and organisations  to fund research for proper development of the nation.

“We have researchers here but ours end in professorships and no work to show for it.  We need to change this situation, research should take priority. If Nigerians and the government are not ready to fund research we will remain under developed.”

Research &development

Speaking, the Provost, CMUL, Prof. Folashade Ogunsola who emphasized the importance of research to development noted that molecular biology or molecular technology is the tool that can answer today’s questions.

Ogunsola who also backed multidisciplinary approach to research explained that at different period of science there are tools that a researcher requires when questions get more complex and bigger and the latest to solve present problems is now molecular technology and molecular biology tools.

“Molecular technology has developed in the area of solving the problems of today. In the area of medical sciences we have recognised and understand we can solve many of these problems by getting to the genetic level.

“We are beginning to understand better the interplay between the genetics our lifestyles etc and to find these things and understand their connections you need molecular tools.”

On his part, the convener and President, Humboldt Club, Prof Oluyemi Akinloye explained that molecular technology is applicable to almost all  fields of life sciences ranging from agriculture to pure science, from medical science to medicine and is now currently use in diagnosis of human diseases, in intervention in animal production, in plants and all kinds of development that benefits human life.

“In our research group, we have been able to classically sequence some of the genes that are responsible for some of the common diseases in Nigeria especially the communicable diseases, specifically, prostate cancer and causes of infertility and we have been able to have deeper understanding of the peculiarity about these diseases in Nigeria and some other colleagues also are generating beautiful data that is specific to our environment.

“At the end of the day we will be able to see our patient as an individual that is unique to our environment and they will be treated so and not treating them globally with the global concept.”



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