The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Lamido Sanusi, yesterday lamented the poor funding of research programmes in the nation’s tertiary institutions, declaring that a nation that ignored research was on the path to peril.
Sanusi, who was the guest lecturer at the 42nd graduation lecture at the Air Force Institute of Technology, Kaduna, said for Nigeria to achieve sustainable economic growth and development, research and application of technological findings were key requirements.
The CBN governor, who spoke on the topic: ‘Tertiary institutions, research, innovation and national development: The changing dynamics for sub-Sahara Africa,’ said research conducted by tertiary institutions often boost the economy of any nation, but noted that lack of funds for research had continued to impact negatively on the Nigerian economy.
For instance, Sanusi said while other developed economies of the world were investing heavily in research, Nigeria was still lagging behind in that regard.
He added that unless the country rose up to the occasion of funding research programmes in tertiary institutions, the quest for economic growth and development would remain a mirage.
Sanusi said: “Overall, in the low income and developing countries, the correlation between research and economic development remains grossly remote and insignificant, compared to the case of industrialised economies. Research funding coupled with the issue of diversification of funding as well as the general funding of higher education remain poor across the region.
“In Africa, the gross domestic expenditure on research and development as a percentage of the Gross National Product continued to remain under 0.5 per cent in the past two decades. For example, while as of 2010, the average expenditure (as percentage of GDP) on research and development was 2.7 ($405.3bn) for USA; 2.0 per cent (($296.8bn) for China; 3.67 per cent ($160.3bn) for Japan; and 3.74 per cent ($55.8bn) for South Korea. It was 0.23 per cent ($0.910bn) for Egypt; 0.39 per cent ($0.13bn) for Uganda; and 0.42 per cent ($0.11bn) for Botswana.”
However, Sanusi noted that Nigeria was not included in the table as countries that spent less than $100m annually on research and development were not captured.