africa

Osinbajo urges varsities to focus on research for global relevance


Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) has urged universities and other tertiary institutions in the country to focus on research for global relevance.

Osinbajo stated this on Monday when he received a delegation from the University of Lagos, Alumni Association, led by the National President, Dr John Momoh.

This was contained in a statement by his spokesman, Laolu Akande. The statement was titled, ‘Academic Research Gives Universities Global Acclaim – Osinbajo’.

The VP was quoted as saying, “We should focus on how to endow research because ultimately, research is what puts us on the world map of intellectual achievement and attainment.”

Speaking on UNILAG specifically, he made the call for more resources to be devoted to research, adding that universities like UNILAG, “ought to be at the frontline of scholarships and intellectual achievements. This is probably a lot cheaper sometimes, than some of the major things that we do in terms of ‘brick and mortar’.”

Referencing the COVID-19 pandemic and the place of medical research in tackling the virus, the Vice President stated that, “if you look at medical research especially in the light of public health challenges that we have had, COVID-19, and so many things going on, we need to be able to put some resources behind research, especially scientific type research where we can immediately see the benefits.”

He gave the example of the work done by the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases in diagnosing the first case of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Very few people know that the Redeemers University in Ede has an African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases. As soon as the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa, the sample of blood was sent to the centre in Ede and within 48hours, they were able to share with the international community, the first genome sequence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from Africa.

“That was a major achievement by any standard. The World Bank and World Health Organisation are contributing to that centre because they realize that this is a major centre for medical research,” he said.

According to the VP, “We really owe a responsibility to our own time and generation to make some real progress that will redefine the university.”

In his remarks, Dr Momoh, who is also the Chairman of Channels TV, thanked the VP for his continued support and gave details of the association’s plan to build an iconic 500-bed space hostel to tackle the housing deficit in UNILAG as well as the launch of a webinar starting in January 2022.

The webinar plans to feature distinguished alumni in governance and industry who would speak on different topics relevant to the nation.



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