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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said Nigerian universities are not doing enough in research and innovations, calling for more investment in the area, which it described as the best way to actualise radical development of the nation.
The organisation said it had signed Memoranda of Understanding with foreign universities to boost Nigerian ivory towers’ status in global reckoning.
The Executive Secretary, TETfund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, said this at the Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti (ABUAD), yesterday, while delivering a lecture to mark the 12th Founder’s anniversary and 9th convocation ceremony of the university.
In his lecture titled: “University As Catalyst for Regional Economic Development,” Bogoro also advised university administrators to place high premium on research, saying no country can develop or make headway in innovation without adequate investment and exploration in research.
He said: “Endowment, research foundations are the DNA of Ivory towers over time. But sadly in our country, we are treating universities as if they are political enclaves, rather than enclaves or platform for deepening knowledge, creating knowledge and innovation that is beyond average, which is why universities are called ivory towers.
“Unfortunately, we have gone in the wrong direction for quite a while. Sometimes, you see square pegs not being placed in square holes, even within the university system, and these are areas that bother us.
“If you do not have somebody that believes, promotes, encourages and supports problem-solving research presiding over a university, then that university is destroyed. I just hope we are able to change this for our nation to grow.”
Bogoro said TETfund has been striving hard to make Nigerian universities gain recognition globally, by signing MoUs with regards to using the platforms to catalyse regional economic development.
The founder of ABUAD, Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), said there is need for the law establishing TETFUND to be reworked to allow private universities benefit funding from the agency.
Babalola was also of the opinion that universities that are above 30 years should not be given funding by TETFUND for infrastructure development, as such monies were allegedly being expended on frivolities.
“Instead of giving any well established universities monies to build guest houses, they should be given funds for research and innovation,” he said.