How Nigeria Invested Billions Into Research And Development Without Innovation -NBTE

The Nigerian government through its agency called Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) had in previous years wasted a lot of money running into billions on research and development without innovation to convert such into commercial values, Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Professor Idris M. Bugaje lamented.

In 2021 alone, the public administration veteran lamented that TETFund funded 12 centres of excellence each with N2 billion to promote research and development but like previous years, there is no significant technology in this country that could be called Nigerian.

Bugaje, who spoke at Board’s headquarters in Kaduna during the commissioning of NBTE Research and Development Innovation Exhibition Hall then called for paradigm shift by way of allowing the polytechnics to key into the Research and Development agenda to end the era of university research ending in journal publications.

Some of the research outcome from various polytechnics displayed including a 3D printer, E-scooter, giants energy stove and protective helmet from Kaduna Polytechnic, solar fumigator, palm kernel fibre tiles, interlocking paving stone produced with waste nylon and solar powered hand washing system from Federal Polytechnic Offa.

FM transmitter, automated system for irrigation and test of soil moisture and hydrogen general for fuel cell from the Polytechnic Ibadan, among other innovations from Delta State Polytechnic, Auchi Polytechnic, Federal Polytechnic Mubi among others.

“Over the years, the government and its agencies have been pumping a lot of money into research and development in universities. Last year alone, TETFund funded 12 centres of excellence each with N2 billion to promote research, that was just 2021.

“In previous years billions have been invested into universities for research and development but up till today, there is no significant technology in this country that you can call Nigerian. We are busy investing money into research but we are yet to see innovations going into commercialization.

“There is something we have gotten wrong and that is the fact that we have not allowed the polytechnics to key into the research and development agenda. Polytechnics in this country can deliver on research and development.

“A lot of the researches going on in the universities end up ad journals papers, and beyond that, nothing happens, this is because there is a role the polytechnics can play in taking them to the level of innovation and commercialization and unfortunately, polytechnics have not been given necessary funding to achieve that level of development.

“For that reason, we want all the funding agencies and the government itself to realize that there is a need for a paradigm shift”, he explained.

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