Chairman of the Board of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Tarilah Tebepah has identified research as key to Nigeria’s economic development and technological breakthrough.
To this end, he has challenged Nigerian Universities to prioritise research to foster the vitality of science and technology with its attendant benefits.
Dr. Tebepah, disclosed this during the 28th convocation lecture of the University of Port Harcourt.
He recalled that the United States of America, United Kingdom and other developed countries became world leaders with the support of their universities.
“I believe our universities must rise up to the challenge. This is the time for them to lead the nation in concrete development initiatives through research that addresses the national goals,” said Dr. Tebepah.
According to him, “President Jonathan wants to see a better university system where academic and professional work is focused to help the country realize its potentials for greatness. I am confident that if we work together as stakeholders, we can create a national policy framework that would strengthen corporate commitment to result-oriented research funding.”
Dr. Tebepah stated that the NDDC was ready to partner Universities in the Niger Delta region in research and development as well as the Ministry of Science and Technology in order to increase the stock of knowledge in research methodology.
The Minister of Science and Technology, Prof. Ita Okon Bassey Ewa, in a lecture entitled: “Universities and the Private Sector: Promoting Research and Entrepreneurial Network for Economic Transformation” said government was committed to promoting research and entrepreneurial networking for economic transformation by setting up silicon valley and funding research centres.
“As Minister of Science and Technology, I pledge absolute commitment to all principles of harnessing the tools of science and technology, especially, injecting innovations to transform research and development into viable economic development schemes,” he said.