James Ojo, Abuja
That Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), yesterday, rolled out benefits of a bill establishing the National Research and Innovation Council and called on President Muhammadu Buhari to quickly sign it into law.
The NRIC bill was returned to the National Assembly, by the president, over some grey areas, which had been corrected and returned for Presidential assent to become a law of the Federation.
Speaking on the need for legal backing for the council, the National Secretary, Dr. Theophilus Ndubuaku, said direct funding of research institutions is capable of lifting the country from the present poverty level.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that human action is not perfect. We, therefore, appeal to Mr. President to give his assent to the bill, appoint functionaries and saddle them with the responsibility to continue to relate with the National Assembly; for further necessary amendments, for improvement,” he noted.
Commending president Buhari for inaugurating the NRIC, 30 years after the National Policy on Science and Technology was initiated, the union also urged the president to crown his bold move by singing the bill into law.
Dr. Ndubuaku said although the policy has been revised 13 times, no past leader could muster the political will to inaugurate the Council until 2016, when the president actualised it. The union also commended the 50 senators who sponsored the bill for the establishment of NRIC.
“We assert the incontestable fact that Nigeria is either second to none or, maybe, to the USA, in terms of diversity, quantity and quality, in terms of human and natural resources, Nigeria should be among the richest in the world.”