From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) has lamented the huge investments by Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) on research and development without innovations to convert such into commercial values.
Its Executive Secretary, Idris Bugaje, who spoke at the board’s headquarters in Kaduna during the commissioning of NBTE Research and Development Innovation Exhibition Hall, called for paradigm shift by way of allowing the polytechnics to key into the research and development project to end the era of university research ending in journal publications.
“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 commercialisation.
“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 as 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 commercialisation 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 realise that there is a need for a paradigm shift,” he said.