The Supervising Minister of Education, Nyesom Wike yesterday challenged Nigerian universities to emphasis more on research and innovations saying that it was the bedrock of curbing certain challenges in the country.
The minister who was represented by his Special Adviser, Lambert Okpara said this at the opening ceremony of 7th Annual International Conference and Workshop of the West African Research and Innovation Management Association (WARIMA) , University of Jos.
The Minister said,” instructors must be update, contemporary, trained, retrained and remain ahead of the students they teach. This can however be achieved through research collaborations and management.”
Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka who is the president of WARIMA explained that the research output of universities in West Africa like; articles published, number of PhD holders produced, patents and consultancies have been very low.
The president added that “Many junior academic and researchers are saddled too early in their careers with administrative duties. Grants and proposal writing skills are very poor, thus making it difficult for the researchers to compete for major international research grants. Direct funding for research from government has been inadequate.”
On the other hand, the Vice Chancellor of University of Jos, Professor Hayward Mafuyai said the University was recently awarded by the African Centre of Excellence in Phyto-medicine Research and Development (ACERPD). He said that “the grant of USD 8m will provide us with yet another opportunity to develop capacity in our staff and research students, and also afford us the opportunity to practice research administration at a more complex level when we network with national and regional universities on the continent.”