Universities Key To National Growth Through Research, Community Service – Prof Bogoro

0
276
Akwa Ibom State University

By; AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna 

As Nigerians look up on the current administration under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for national development, the former executive secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, has called on universities and other tertiary institutions in the country to harp on research and community services to develop the country.

Speaking recently at the 11th Convocation Lecture of the Nile University, Abuja, on the title, ‘Reasserting the Pivotal University Roles of Research and Community Service for National Development,’ the Professor of Animal Science harped on the need for universities to emerge as think tanks for national development.

On the essence of research for development, Professor Bogoro notes, “It is very important that the ultimate objectives for both Theoretical and Applied Research are carried out to conclusion. This being why the justification for any research enterprise is clearly expressed in all research proposals. There must always be justified anticipated deliverables that must be problem- solving. It took the injection of science and innovation for Malaysia to have imported our oil palm and has over the years turned its innumerable value chain into goldmine.

“Equally important, therefore, is the need for universities cum industry partnership through Research. The example of the TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee (RDSC) whereby academic and industry were remarkably blended is a good reference for this partnership. Their recommendation for the establishment of National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) remains a pace-setter and most desirable bold step to place our country in the right trajectory for Knowledge Economy.” 

Describing the need for universities to carry out services around their areas in order to for them to be relevant in both local and larger context, the former TETFund executive secretary declares, “For universities to be relevant in both local and larger context, they must be seen to undertake Research and Community Service that address and solve problems and needs of the university community, but more importantly, the needs and demands of the immediate community and Nation. In many cases, some community services also serve as avenues for additional income for the Faculty members, thus becoming a win-win situation for both the community and the lecturers. Unfortunately, this is one area that has not been explored enough to the benefits of universities and the Community. There is need to review the current status and relationship between universities and communities for both local and national interests.”  

Commending President Tinubu for paying four months out of the eight months of withheld salaries owed to lecturers in the public universities due to strikes, Professor Bogoro recalls, “President Bola Tinubu, in his inaugural address, vowed to end the embarrassing cycle of ASUU strike in our universities. He has just paid four months out of the eight months of withheld salaries of university lecturers in public universities. He has also commendably approved a Student Loan Scheme aimed at relieving students of indigent parents and also making available part of the loan to address the financial squeeze arising from non-payment of tuition fees in Public Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education.

“With the recently increased annual budgetary allocation for the Education sector, in addition to the increased Education Tax from 2,50 to 3.00 percent through TETFund, more funds are to be deployed to address non-budgetary funding intervention priorities for public tertiary institutions, being the justification for the establishment of TETFund ab-initio.”

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here