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ASURI seeks assent to national research innovation council bill

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[FILE PHOTO] Professor Babatunde Lawal Salako, Director General of the Nigerian Institute Of Medical Research, NIMR.


The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI) has called for speedy assent to the National Research and Innovation Council Bill.

The bill, the union argued, can produce nobel laureates, and would also be instrumental to funding and coordinating research in the country.

The General-Secretary, ASURI, Theophilus Ndubuaku, stated this in Lagos, at the unveiling of the committee for the 2021 Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) scientific conference coming up in November.

Ndubuaku said if there is sufficient funding for research, institutes would be able to convert natural resources into wealth.He said there would be the availability of technology for industrial production, which would, in turn, create massive jobs. He noted that the whole blueprint was ready but what is needed is proper funding.

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He lamented that the government had refused to support research to transform resources that would create wealth, urging the government to make research institutes institutionalised entities to solve Nigeria’s problems.

“We are still pressing for funding, a funding mechanism that does not depend on budgetary allocation.

“The way the fund from the council is packaged is to draw existing funds from some institutions that pull their money, not from the budget but taxes. So you can be sure that every day, the taxes are paid and money is accruing to the institutions. They will now give five per cent to the council. This will make research institutions not depend on the government for the budget. Our request is to get the National Research and Innovation Council Bill assented to like everything about research and fund is in the bill,” he said.

He further explained that “What TETfund is doing is to hijack the National Research Fund that is clearly stated in the science and technology policy under science and technology. Even if they hijack the fund, they can’t still coordinate research because TETfund is a university affair and we are talking about research.”

While commending the Director-General of NIMR, Babatunde Salako, he said the visit by the body was to see how NIMR has held sway without funding and budgetary allocation, getting grants from outside to become a model research institution.

He urged the government to focus on NIM while charging other research institutes to emulate NIMR. Chairman, ASURI, NIMR branch, Amoo Samuel, said the institute had continued to find ways to synergise its vision both with researchers and management.

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