‘Lack of synergy between research centres, industries bane of development’
The President, Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS), Prof. Oyewale Tomori, has stated that lack of collaboration between Nigerian universities research centres and industries is affecting economic growth in the country.
Reacting to recent allegations that universities are not contributing significantly to the socio-economic development of the nation, Tomori insisted that for the country to witness radical transformation, the academia and industry must work together.
He told The Guardian that just as the contributions of universities to improve the economy and social wellbeing are insignificant, government’s investment in the sector is also irrelevant.
He said: “The reason for seeming non-contribution of universities to the national economy is the lack of collaboration between the research centres and industries. Go to the Federal Institute of Industrial Research, Oshodi (FIIRO) and you will see lots of products waiting to be commercialised but abandoned.
“The indiscriminate and unplanned establishment of universities by the government without consideration for the shortage of qualified staff and insufficient funding for research are contributory factors to poor performance of our institutions. Academia and industry must work together to translate research findings into commercial products that will enhancing the social well-being of the people.”
On the solution, he said: “Our scientists and researchers should re-focus to address the needs of the country, rather than conduct research that produce publications for promotional purposes only. Government’s investment in the university is as insignificant as the contributions of the university system to national economy.
“Our government must therefore demand from the universities, a higher level of performance and contribution to national development. This must be accompanied by provision of enough funds for genuine academic activities.”
The Head, Polymer and Textile Technology Division, FIIRO, Dr. Chika Ezeanyanaso, confirmed that there are over 250 research products ready for to be commercialised at the institute. She, however, disagreed that universities’ contributions to the nation’s economy are trivial.