ASURI, CSOs bemoan delay in passage, assent to National Research and Innovation Council Bill

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By Joy Odor

The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI) and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) has bemoaned the delay in the passage and subsequent assent of the National Research and Innovation Council Bill that will solve the challenges of research funding in Nigeria by the National Assembly.

They expressed dismay of encumbrances and deliberate efforts by some people to frustrate the laudable piece of legislation which when assented would be instrumental in national development.

The General-Secretary of ASURI, Theophilus Ndubuaku who made this known at a joint press conference by ASURI/CSOs in Abuja at the weekend, lamented the failure of the government to accelerate the passage of the bill despite efforts made by ASIRU and other stakeholders.

Ndubuaku informed that ASIRU and CSOs have been in the vanguard of sensitizing the public to appreciate the enormous potentials inherent in research development and the need to be funded properly.

In his words , “we have been for a long time trying to sensitize the populace on a matter of neglect of research institutions.

“We have a situation whereby if you are employed as a researcher in Nigeria, you come in with the first degree, you will not be promoted until you get your Masters Degree, PhD with relevant research presentation and the fund for these research is not provided” he stressed.

ASURI General-Secretary maintained that there are instances in which one can remain for twenty years in a particular level without promotion as a researcher in ministries because one do not have a PhD and research are not been funded effectively by government.

“The problem is that both the training programme and the research activities are not been funded effectively by government,” he said.

Ndubuaku urged the House of Representatives and Senate to expedite action towards ensuring that the bill is passed and assented to before the expiration of this administration.

He promised to liaise with the members of the House of Representatives and the Presidency through solidarity visits to ensure that the all important bill becomes an act.

“The fund from the council is packaged to draw existing fund from some institutions that pull their money not from the budget but taxes.

“So, everyday taxes are paid and money are accruing to the institutions. They will now give five percent to the Council. The Council will serve as a ‘pool’ in which all research institutes can access fund for research activities.

“This will make research institutions less dependent on budgetary allocations “. Some of the agencies expected to make this contributions are ; Raw Materials Research and development Council, Ecological Fund, National Automotive Design and Development Council Fund , National Communications Development Fund , National Lottery Trust Fund and others.

The bill when assented to, would have a illegal backing to the activities of National Research Innovation Council (NRIC) that was inaugurated by President Buhari some years ago.

“It will be an offence for the relevant institutions not to make their contributions to the Fund.

 

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