President Mohammadu Buhari has been lauded over the initiatives and policies of the Federal Government to improve the fortunes of the country through research and development.
Dr. Theophilus Ndubuaku, the Secretary-General of Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions in Nigeria, gave the commendation on Saturday in Abuja while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria at the ceremony of conferment of exemplary award on him by the institute.
The unionist said that president Buhari was the first and only Nigerian president to inaugurate the National Research and Innovation Council on January 2016, 50 years after it was neglected by past administrations.
He recalled that the policy on science and technology was initiated in 1966, and since then it had only been reviewed by successive administrations for 13 times without inauguration.
Ndabuaku expressed hope that when the president assents to the National Research and Innovation Council Bill currently before him, he would have set the ball rolling for the country to attain unprecedented heights in research.
He disclosed that the bill was a pull-out from the National Policy on Science and Technology initiated in 1966.
He said “Nigeria is the richest nation by creation and the poorest nation in the committee of nations due to the neglect of research.
“Nations of the world today are where they are because they made research and development their priority.
“During independence, Nigeria’s currency was rated one of the highest in the world, but we failed to inaugurate and fund our policy on science and technology.”
Ndubuaku, however, urged the president who is also chairman of the council to give assent to the bill and go ahead to appoint functionaries into the council.
Prof. Alex Akpa, Acting Director-General, National Biotechnology Development Agency and Chairman of the Award Committee, commended the Buhari adminiatration for funding research institutions in the country.
He said: “Since the president came to power, allocations given to research have more than quadrupled, that I can say authoritatively. At our research institute, money coming in has quadrupled.”
Akpa said there was no country in the world that had made any major breakthrough without adequate attention on research and development.