A civil society coalition, Campaign for Research Funding and Strategies for National Transformation has called on the National Assembly to reintroduce the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill.
The coalition in collaboration with the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutes (ASURI) made the call in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that the statement was signed by 22 representatives of the coalition, including Dr Theophilus Ndubuaku, National Secretary General, ASURI, and James Amedu, coordinator, African Youth for Development Commission.
The coalition said that the passage of the Bill and presidential assent were a way out of Nigeria’s socio-economic woes.
“We are convinced that Nigeria is at the brink of a failed state and we appeal to you and other patriots to think out of the box on how the country can be saved from the imminent collapse.
“It is a well-known fact that Nigeria is among the most endowed nations in the world in terms of diversity, quality of human and natural resources.
“We posit that the reason Nigeria has been designated the world’s poverty capital and become the butt of jokes in the comity of nations is because of neglect of research and development institutes.
“Applied research as conducted in the mandate of research institutes is the key to the development of any nation and not basic research which is the pre-occupation of university lecturers in Nigeria.’’
The coalition said that the Tertiary Education Trust Fund had not funded projects in research institutes since it was established in 1998 because it insisted the fund was for tertiary institutions.
The coalition said that it was convinced that establishing the NRIC was the best and incontestable strategy for coordinating applied research in Nigeria .
“Yet the story of the establishment of NRIC is pathetic and is one of the most veritable examples of how policy somersault, lack of commitment and politicking with strategic national development maters are killing Nigeria.’’
The coalition therefore urged that all hands should be on deck as stakeholders played their various roles to ensure the nation had NRIC.