Technological Institutions, Research Aid Development - Adetifa
Technological institutions and research, which translate to innovations and development are essential tools required for the technological advancement of any nation, a financial management consultant, Hon. Samuel Adetifa has declared.
He made the submission while delivering his lecture, titled, ‘Enhancing Institutional Linkages for Economic Development in Nigeria,’ at a recent Town and Gown seminar of the Department of Economics, Covenant University, Ota, where he was Guest Speaker.
Adetifa, who averred that a Country is technologically backward when it relies on foreign Countries to produce its basic needs, highlighted the features of an underdeveloped nation as inability to feed its citizenry, inability to produce capital goods needed to aid industrialization as well as inability to exploit its natural resources. “These attributes,’ he said, “will be prevalent if it fails to adopt policies necessary for investment in research and development. “
Hon. Adetifa, noted that the founding fathers of Nigeria at independence, feared the dominance of the country’s economic pace by its colonial masters and took practical steps to avoid it by encouraging the establishment of research institutions in the various regions.
“By 1999,’ he said, “Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR), Benin; Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria (FRIN), Ibadan; Federal Institute of Industrial Research Oshodi (FIIRO), Lagos; Lake Chad Research Institute, Maiduguri and National Research Institute for Chemical Technology, formerly, Leather Research Institute of Nigeria, Zaria; among others, had been established.”
In order to bridge the gap between the firms, research institutions and the academia, Hon. Adetifa, urged the government to create the enabling environments - policies, incentive/grants, funding, commercialization etc. He advised that government should review the structure of the academic institutions to encourage increased capabilities to form partnership with firms.
In his words, “the government should support a range of actions, from commercialization of research to the provision of training opportunities, while the academic institutions should be flexible in the use of revenue earned from Research and Development.”
The consultant charged the students of the department to focus on innovation – which he described as changing processes or creating more effective processes, products and ideas. “For businesses,’ he said, “this could mean implementing new ideas, creating dynamic products or improving your existing services. Innovation can be a catalyst for the growth and success of your business, and help you to adapt and grow in the marketplace.”
He also enjoined academic institutions to review their curriculum to facilitate research and innovations and foster the development of science parks within the vicinity of the universities.
In his remarks, the Head, Department of Economics, Dr. Evans Osabuohien, expressed confidence that the Guest Speaker’s experience would be a catalyst that is sure to propel the students into thinking outside the box, thereby bringing about innovations that would improve the lives of Nigerian citizens.
Also at the event were some members of the College of Business and Social Sciences and members of the Department of Economics and Development Studies.