President Bola Tinubu has challenged Nigerian universities to develop solution-driven research to tackle myriads of socio-economic problems bedevilling the country.
Tinubu, who spoke at the weekend during the eighth convocation ceremony of the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, said that universities were supposed to be fertile centres for scientific and technological innovation and discoveries.
The president, represented by the deputy Senate president, Senator Barau Jibrin stressed the need for the academics to come up with innovative research that could bring sustainable development.
He added that his government remained committed to tackling the challenges of funding for cutting-edge research and innovations, saying he was not unaware of the importance of research in national development.
He noted: “Let me reiterate the urgent need for our universities to adjust to the ever-changing demands of the twenty-first century, where technology is upgrading both the global, community and individual intelligence from time to time.
“The Institutions of higher learning must recognise the next possible disruption that technology may bring and must be positioned to mitigate challenges and must from time to time take charge of innovation.
“Without education playing the catalytic role, development cannot be recorded in any nation in this century. Universities in particular should be the vanguard of cutting-edge research, teaching, and community service in line with the tripartite mandate.
“Our universities must take the lead in championing demand-driven research that would serve the society in improving the quality of human lives. We recognise the place of our intellectual to undertake innovative research that will address the nation’s development.”
While reiterating his government’s resolve to improve the nation’s education sector, President Tinubu berated the critics of the student loan scheme introduced by his administration.
He said the federal government will go ahead with the scheme despite what he called “baffling responses from several quarters on the credibility and workability of the scheme.”