Tertiary institutions in Nigeria deserve to be properly funded to fulfil their mandates.
This was just as Prof. Christian Ikeobi of the Department of Animal Breeding and Genetics, College of Animal Science and Livestock Production, COLANIM,Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, FUNAAB, has called on the Federal Government to, as matter of urgency; increase the funding of tertiary institutions to enhance research for the overall development of the country.
Professor Ikeobi made the call while featuring on FUNAAB Radio 89.5 FM live interactive programme, ‘Boiling Point.’
He averred that funding for research needs to be stepped up in Nigeria and different parts of the world, adding that funding was one of the key points to drive development.
Prof. Ikeobi, who is FUNAAB’s Orator as well as the University Chaplain, said that funding of research has to be enhanced to ensure Nigeria is not lagging behind and to make students compete with their counterparts from all over the world.
The former Dean of COLANIM informed that research can be used to drive a university, attract postgraduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and bring scientists together to join them in the work they do, noting that research can be deployed for collaboration purposes across universities and establishments.
Decrying the rate at which students no longer show interest in following up on their lecturers these days, he urged universities to always involve students in their research activities and reiterated the need to promote research to the point where students would find it attractive, insisting that good research should be able to drive development in terms of catalysing food production.
He further urged government to improve the research environment, because some equipment need to be made available for research, even as he stressed that technology should be integrated towards improving the research base of Nigerian universities.
The don insisted that there is still room for more universities to come on board in Nigeria, after looking at the population size, but that would only be possible when there is adequate funding.
Prof. Ikeobi, also decried the high level of hunger and starvation in different parts of the world and made it known that taking genetics into consideration is relevant in solving the problems of food insecurity, stating that COVID-19 had helped the nation to explore available opportunities that had been in existence for a very long time through the introduction of the virtual learning environment.