IHVN calls for increased funding for research in Nigeria
Says Nigeria will never be world-class nation if it neglects research
The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has warned that Nigeria will never be the world-class nation it is aspiring to be and will be neglecting the future if it neglects research.
Chief Executive Officer of the Institute, Prof Patrick Dakum who stated this at the scientific seminar organised by the institute yesterday in Abuja, called for increased funding for research stressing that the country has rich intellectual capacity and all that is needed is for the government to open up the opportunities, especially in terms of funding.
Noting that research is very pivotal to the development of any nation, Dakum lamented that research is s highly underfunded in the country adding that quality research and partnerships will help in addressing local health challenges in Nigeria.
He said, “Go to the universities and ask them how much are their budgets in terms of Naira and kobo, it’s very minimal. So, I believe that government must be deliberate and know that development is specifically hinged on research and if we neglect research, we are neglecting the future and, we will never be the world-class that we want to be. And for us, we will continue to advocate, we will continue to show data to a government that will enable the government to do the needful and we will continue to work with the agencies of government that are at the forefront of doing this.
The CEO who stressed the need for the private sector to realize that they have a responsibility to contribute to the health sector, advocates the expansion of the community health insurance programme.
Also speaking, the Executive Director International Centre of Excellence, Prof Alashe’le Abimiku who also called for increased funding for research in the country stated that most of the funding that IHVN gets is through grants.
Abimiku noted that Nigerian scientists should compete with other scientists to get grants and other research funding available
She said, “The difference between the two is that the government puts in money that allows scientists to work over a long period of time and sustain the efforts but the grant has a lifespan. You get a grant for like two years, three years, five years or so and it’s gone but for research and for discovery, any government has to put in some money so that all young researchers that are working can be certain of getting a certain amount of money that they can work on over years and the discovery may come after two years, after five years, or may come after ten years.
“Today, what we have tried to do is to begin the launching of the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria and also to showcase the work that we are planning to do, that is research on science, and is based on international standards and its relevance to the people of Nigeria. Our research is based on local health challenges like HIV, Malaria, TB, and Lassa Fever among others and these are very essential to the communities. We are doing it in collaboration with a lot of partners. Even though we are founded internationally, we recognize the role that the federal government of Nigeria plays. So, we want to show very clearly here that we are aligned with the government’s priorities and we present ourselves as a capacity for the country. And we are not taking away that we as Nigerians, are also contributing to solving health issues here in our country”.