News Agency of Nigeria

Lagos State University (LASU), on Thursday said it was working towards accessing N100 million institutional research grants from industries and international foundations.

Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, the Vice-Chancellor of the institution, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on the sideline of a two-day National Workshop.

The workshop is on Research Grant Writing and Administration, held at the institution in Lagos.

The workshop is a collaboration between the National University Commission (NUC), Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), Open Africa Innovation Research (Open Air) and LASU.

Fagbohun said that the university was able to access research grant of N50 million last year and is presently looking at accessing institutional grants of about N100 million.

“In the last one year, we have been able to access research grants of between N50 million and N70 million.

“I am talking about grants ranging between N1.5 million and N2 million.

“Right now, we are looking at accessing institutional grant of N100 million that will bring out a research capable of giving solutions to so many problems,’’ he said.

Fagbohun said the amount accessed previously was possible because LASU staff had been active in the last two years, in terms of accessing grants.

Earlier at the workshop, the VC called for a coherence between universities and industries, in terms of research, which is key to national development.

He said industries were not funding university researchers because there is a disconnect between the two, as universities undertake researches without carrying industry players along.

“Therefore, the industry cannot fund researches because they do not utilise the outcome.’’

He noted that the trend must change, so as to utilise innovations for national development.

“When you have innovation, you will be able to commercialise it and that is what will generate money.

“As long as there is disconnect between the universities and industry, in terms of research, there is no way to achieve coherence for development,’’ he said.

The VC said the workshop was meant to develop the capacity of academics, who would be applying for grants, and non-academics, saddled with the responsibility to manage such grants.

Fagbohun said that the workshop would also serve as platform for hands-on training of participants from different universities and research institutions.

Prof. Epipheny Azinge, the Director-General, NIALS, remarked that based on findings, the majority of the universities were not accessing the research grants available for them.

Azinge said the TETFUND 25 billion dollars grant had not been accessed by Nigerian universities, adding that the highest amount received for research by any university in the last one year was N40 million.

“It is clear that majority of the research funds are channelled to polytechnics and colleges of education because universities are not applying for the grant.”

Mr Bankole Oloruntoba, the Deputy Director, Network Incubator, said: “Universities do not want to get involved in the business end of research.

“The private sector has the money, the universities have the knowledge and solutions, so, the universities must know how to connect with the industry operators.”

Mr Isaac Rutenberg, Senior Lecturer at the Strathmore Law School, Nairobi, Kenya advised that universities should have reasons and expectations before writing a research proposal or asking for grant.

Rutenberg said universities should have different goals and purposes to enable them to gain audience and grants from the industries.

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