Nigerian Academy of Science has blamed government policies for the poor development of research in the country, keeping research down from making expected contribution to the GDP.
The Academy made this known at its 40th anniversary workshop organised by International Committee of Science, ICS, in collaboration with Nigerian Academy of Science, in Abuja, where it also listed lack of constant electricity, state-of-the-art equipment and infrastructure, among other things, as obstacles militating against the development of research in Nigeria.
The Academy posits that; “One per cent of GDP is recommended by the UN for research and development but what we see here is less than one per cent. As at 2007, they said 0.2 per cent was recommended for research in Nigeria and there has been no improvement in that area, it is essentially a situation where government does not recognise research.”
Speaking on the purpose of the workshop, Chairman, Local Organising Committee and former Foreign Secretary of Academy of Science, Prof. Soga Sufola, said; “Africa and Nigeria in particular, has not leveraged on research to develop.
Africa has not been responsive in terms of research and development, as such a designated research fund should be set up to enable young researchers access fund and publicise their research work.
“The event is designed to brainstorm on how to help women and young scientists get involved in scientific research. We are supposed to have research fund. TETFUND is supposed to support research. There is a lot of money in TETFUND but the problem has been accessing it. There are people who are credible but if we have this support, more people will be involved, especially young people. Most of the problems we have are ageing equipment and the research methodologies have changed.”
Stating that Nigeria has not kept pace with global digitization in the area of research, Sufola said; “There is modernization and more of digitization, but most of the equipment are not up to date. Without proper equipment, hybrid research cannot be done, and without hybrid research your recognition is difficult.
We are hoping that we can leverage more and government can be more responsible so that we can take our place in the world of research. Whether we like it or not, we are disadvantaged. Africa’s contribution to research is about 0.3 percent and it is really nothing, we need to do more,’’ he added.