UNILAG VC harps on interdisciplinary research to drive development


Nigeria needs multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary researches to drive the needed development in the country, outgoing Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos (UNILAG), Professor Rahamon Bello, has said.

Bello made the observation in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

“If I carry out a research on my own, I am limited because it is only what I know that I will work on.

“If I am doing a research in engineering, I must bring along a sociologist, a lawyer, a psychologist to look at the output and its impact on the society so as to ensure a high economic value,’’ Bello said.

He said that Nigeria had yet to adequately fund research, noting that no economy would thrive without elaborate research input.

“We have not put enough resources into research to harness as much as we should be harnessing as a big nation.

“A nation that has the kind of population we have should have enough resources to be able to do that.

“You cannot own an economy, either human-based or technology-based, without research.

“Research will look at what is inherent within the system and convert it for the use of humanity to raise economic advantage for the nation,’’ the professor of chemical engineering said.

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The vice chancellor told NAN that the National Research Fund had not adequately tackled inadequate research funding.

“If one looks at the percentage due for carrying out the research itself, one will know that we are not there.

“In Singapore, Malaysia, U.S. and U.K., a large percentage of the gross domestic product is used for research.

“If you compare that with what we are putting into research here, you will discover we are not yet there,” he said.

He said that Unilag was doing its possible best in research, but was being hindered by fund constraint.

“In-house in here, we are carrying out research but the level is limited because of funding.

“The equipment is not there just as the facilities. If you do not have constant electricity supply, technological research is hampered.

“I am happy that the government is trying to assist institutions with IPPs, and I can say that we have advanced on that,’’ he said.

Bello added the university created a Research and Innovation Office to assist scholars to carry out research not just for the purpose of promotion but for national development.

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“These are the ways things are done to improve on research value for a greater impact on both the economy and the researcher.

“Now, we are attracting international research grants and support from international organisations on equipment for research.

“We were recently interviewed for support for equipment worth over 300, 000 U.S. dollars from one of the organisations in the U.S.,’’ he said.

NAN reports that Bello’s five-year tenure as Unilag’s vice chancellor ends on Nov. 11.

The 11th Vice-Chancellor of the institution came into office in 2012, following the demise of the then Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adetokunbo Sofoluwe.

Bello will be succeeded by Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, the university’s Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics).


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