Don urges government to set up central research lab, review TETFUND Act

Fapohunda said that there is an urgent need to set up a culture collection centre. “Certainty and purity of organisms will confer integrity and credibility on microbiological research. PHOTO: pt.usembassy.gov

Dean, School of Science and Technology, Babcock University, Ilishan-Remo, Ogun state, Prof. Dele Fapohunda, has urged the Federal Government to set up central research laboratories one, in each of the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria.

Fapohunda at a two-day First Young Microbiologists’ Conference held last week at the institution, also called for an immediate review of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) act to include private universities, particularly in mandate areas not involving permanent structures. He described the discriminatory operation of TETFUND against private institutions as unacceptable.

Fapohunda said the proposed central research laboratories should be coordinated directly by the office of the President and Commander in Chief, devoid of any political encumbrance. “A conscious policy to go into the invention and production of tools/equipment and consumables in Nigeria,” he said.

The don said that there is an urgent need to set up a culture collection centre. “Certainty and purity of organisms will confer integrity and credibility on microbiological research. Respected scientists should come together and draw up a strategic plan on science and technology for Nigeria. This will state year by year expectations from all stakeholders,” Fapohunda said.

While emphasizing the need for more collaboration with then industries and encouragement from them, he also recommended conscious effort at carrying out invention and production of tools/equipment and consumables.

Fapohunda said: “… However Nigeria that saw the need to support private participation in tertiary education must review the guidelines so that a fair and uniform platform to access the fund is available to all qualified. Since the academia is one with the goal of making the society better, any form of alienation or division is unfair and counter productive as it weakens collaborative effort in research.

“Since yesterday, all of us are here as one body, speaking same language of microbiology that binds us, but when it comes to getting fund for research from TETFUND, then we are divided by government. This is not healthy for the growth of academic research and capacity building. It should therefore be revisited.”

The keynote speaker, Prof Folarin Oguntoyinbo, of the University of Lagos, emphasised the need for collaboration and regular capacity building in the study of microbiology.

He also stressed that many areas of applied microbiology (like in medicine, agriculture, and food) still remained untapped and waiting for the young ones to exploit to the advantage of the country.

The Vice Chancellor, Prof Stephen A. Tayo, advised the participants to gear their research toward solving the nations challenges.



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