ONYINYECHI UDEMEZUE, Abuja
THE Federal Government yesterday, said lack of confidence was the reason behind non-funding of Universities for entrepreneurship programmes by industries.
The Minister of Education, Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau, stated this while declaring open the National Entrepreneurship Colloquium, in Abuja as part of the ongoing annual National Entrepreneurship Week (ANEW), organised by the National University Commission (NUC).
He said no nation can develop without research, adding that it is imperative to develop confidence between Nigerian universities and industries.
This he said would ensure funding of research by the industries in tertiary institutions.
The minister who was represented at the occasion by the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission( NUC), Professor Julius okojie, said, “The relationship between universities and industries is very poor, no country can develop without entrepreneurship because if you look at developed nations, industries funds the universities, infact they look for problem solving institutions and fund such institutions.
“Do you know why industries don’t fund universities, when there is no confidence that is developed between the universities and industries. The confidence is not there.
“It is imperative now for the universities to demonstrate the fact that they are confidence in research. Nobody will put money where he feels nothing would come out of it. When I was in the university we discovered that NESTLE needed a new breed of cowpea and we developed it. If we address our research to the needs of industries we will catch them all”.
He blamed the unaccessibility of research fund domicile in Tertiary Education Fund, TETFund on proper training on guidelines in accessing the funds.
“The Government has booked over N3 billion for research but you will be surprised that we haven’t drawn up to N1 billion from the research. Government is waiting to add to the fund based on the money withdrawn from the fund but we are not doing that.
“We have a lot of fund in TETFund. There is guidelines and some people have 4 years outstanding fund. Look at the guideline properly. What I also advise is to train the Heads of Departments on how to access the fund”, he said.
He therefore tasked the youths to look at the challenges in their environment and research on it adding that there must be collaboration in terms of research because no country can survive without innovation system.