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Osinbajo advocates funding increment for research across Nigerian varsities

By News Desk

The Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has disclosed that more resources are required for higher institutions of learning to invest in research, noting that there was need for research funding increment for varisties and other tertiary institutions across Nigeria.

He said that without adequate funding for research in the nation’s higher institutions, there would be less intellectual achievements in the country’s citadels of learning such that would affect the rating of education in Nigeria.

“We should focus on how to endow research because ultimately, research is what puts us on the world map of intellectual achievement and attainment. We need to be able to put some resources behind research, especially scientific type research where we can immediately see the benefits,” Osinbajo told a delegation from the University of Lagos (UNILAG) Alumni Association, led by its National President, Dr John Momoh.

Speaking on UNILAG specifically, the vice president advocated for more resources to be devoted to research, adding that universities like UNILAG, “ought to be at the frontline of scholarships and intellectual achievements. This is probably a lot cheaper sometimes, than some of the major things that we do in terms of ‘brick and mortar’.”

Referencing the COVID-19 Pandemic and the place of medical research in tackling the virus, Osinbajo stated that, “if you look at medical research especially in the light of public health challenges that we have had, COVID-19, and so many things going on, we need to be able to put some resources behind research, especially scientific type research where we can immediately see the benefits.”

He gave the example of the work done by the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID) in diagnosing the first case of COVID-19 in sub-Saharan Africa.

“Very few people know that the Redeemers University in Ede has an African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID). As soon as the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa, the sample of blood was sent to the centre in Ede and within 48hours, they were able to share with the international community, the first genome sequence of the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) from Africa.

“That was a major achievement by any standard. The World Bank and World Health Organisation are contributing to that centre because they realize that this is a major centre for medical research.”

According to the VP, “we really owe a responsibility to our own time and generation to make some real progress that will redefine the university.

In his remarks, Dr Momoh who is also the Chairman of Channels TV, thanked the vice president for his continued support and gave details of the association’s plan to build an iconic 500-bed space hostel to tackle the housing deficit in UNILAG as well as the launch of a webinar starting in January 2022 tagged – UnilagAlumniLive TV.

The webinar plans to feature distinguished alumni in governance and industry who would speak on different topics relevant to the nation.

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