From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
NationaI The Council for Technical Education (NBTE) lamented the huge investments of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) in research and development without innovations to convert them into commercial values.
Its Executive Secretary, Idris Bugaje, who spoke at the council headquarters in Kaduna during the commissioning of the NBTE Research and Development Innovation Exhibition Hall, called for a paradigm shift in allowing polytechnics to get involved in the research and development project to end the era of academic research resulting in journal publications.
“Over the years, the government and its agencies have injected a lot of money into research and development in universities. Last year alone, TETFund funded 12 Centers of Excellence each with N2 billion to promote research, that was just in 2021.
“In previous years, billions were invested in universities for research and development, but until today, there is no significant technology in this country that you can call Nigerian. We are busy investing money in research, but we haven’t seen the innovations come to market yet.
“There is something we got wrong and that is the fact that we did not allow polytechnics to get involved in the research and development program. Polytechnics in this country can do research and development.
“A lot of research going on in universities ends up as articles in journals, and beyond that nothing happens, it’s because polytechnics can play a role in bringing it to the level of innovation and commercialization and unfortunately the polytechnics have not received the necessary funds to achieve this level of development.
“For this reason, we want all funding agencies and the government itself to realize that there is a need for a paradigm shift,” he said.