The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arch. Sonny Echono has urged the Research and Development Standing Committee (RSDC) to design an agenda that could fast track the research process in the country.
Echono stated this when he met with leadership of the Committee, led by its chairman, Prof. Anya O. Anya on Tuesday, November 29, 2022 in Abuja.
The TETFund Boss, in his keynote address, expressed profound gratitude for the services and hard work that had gone into the project, saying that Nigeria needed urgent steps to come out of its current situation:
“As you will agree with me and so judging from the remarks by the Chairman, our job is not done yet, in fact, we are almost still at the beginning and the task is not only significant but urgent.
“We have reached an important milestone in our national development that requires us taking new bearings, changing course, exploring all the alternatives to see how we can lift this country from where we presently are.
“You heard about Dubai but even Qatar is showcasing to the world now, a very small country and the whole of the world is watching and attention is focused on them. We have seen the type of infrastructural development that they have been able to bring to their people.
“No one can doubt the fact that Nigeria has one of the best brains in the world. Having assembled out best and given the dare circumstances and situation that we faced.
“So my charge and my prayer and appeal before you this morning is to commend Mr. president through the Minister for approving the appointment of the Chairman, it is my pleasure to formally handover the letter to you and to say I’m now a messenger in delivering message to you from the chief visioner, the President and the Minister for Education.
“So the agenda, as leaders, as patriots and as people who have devoted all their life time to this quest, I urge you to take the lead in designing an agenda that can fast track this process.
“I want to underline the fact that we here at TETFund will give you everything humanly possible to support this, because we are now at that point where every institution in this country is going to tell Nigerian people existentially what are you doing to them?
“How useful are you to them? How are you contributing to improving their condition? That is something TETFund wants to be able to showcase that we are committed to making that investment and also harnessing the human and natural resources and deploying them but we need you as experts and leaders to drive it”, he said.
On his part, Anya expressed hope that Nigeria would soon join the global tech giants. He also opined that the importance of science and technology in reshaping the future of the country could not be over-emphasized:
“Many years from now, may be ten years, twenty years, some will look at Nigeria and recognize this day as the day when Nigeria started taking science and technology seriously.
“The history of the contemporary world shows that those who embrace science and technology and operationalise it as instrument to development are now the knowledge societies around the world.
“I believe in the intention, the vision in all of us sitting here to hope that the lost time will be recovered and Nigeria will join those who use science and technology for development,” he said.
The RDSC of TETFund is a large group of over 150 members with 13 thematic areas of focus, with the task to fast-track Nigeria’s global competitiveness in product development and service delivery by leveraging innovation systems.
The thematic Groups include Agriculture, Environment and Bioresources, Medicine, Energy, Infrastructural Development, Education, Pharmaceuticals, and Digital Economy, Petroleum, Fossils Resources, Solid Mineral and Mining; Defence and Military; Governance, Social Development, amongst others.