The federal government has inaugurated the National Research and Development Foundation (NRDF) draft executive bill committee, with a charge on members to propose legislation that will ensure a robust knowledge economy.
Inaugurating the 11-man committee on Tuesday in Abuja, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the committee, which is chaired by Prof. Auwal Yadudu, has four weeks to complete its assignment and produce a report to be considered by the ministry for “transmission to the Federal Executive Council and expectedly, the National Assembly, that is to approve the Bill for presidential assent”.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, Mr. Sonny Echono, the minister said the committee would undertake one of the most important and meaningful assignments on behalf of the ministry and the country as a whole.
“The task of preparing a draft Executive Bill is not an ordinary job. It requires the best to do it and that is why some of our best and tested lawyers, academics and industry leaders have been called upon to do this assignment.
“While calling on members of the committee to live up to expectations in carrying out the assignment, the minister said boosting efforts in research and development holds the key that will redefine the nation’s path to a knowledge economy.
“The nation has high expectations from the outcome of your work because the Federal Ministry of Education has decided to demonstrate that we house the historically-acknowledged leaders of research, being the universities, who also with our polytechnics and colleges of education, hold the task of redefining the path of Nigeria’s knowledge economy, without which we cannot be competitive at the global stage.
“It is expected that your committee will fashion out the legal framework that will define the place of Research and Development (R&D) as the main parameter for measuring the strength and sustainability of our GDP, which size adds up to nothing without injection of knowledge through problem solving research,” the minister said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said the nation’s intellectuals must take up its responsibility by promoting ideas that would fast-track the development of Nigeria, particularly in the area of Research and Development.
“While the military is fighting insecurity and while the politicians are addressing the larger issues through the constitutional amendment, we the intellectuals must do the right thing to remind them that we are there, that we can chart a path for this nation. That is why we asked you to join us in this exercise,” he said.
Bogoro, who doubles as the convener of TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee (RDSC), expressed delight that the committee would churn out good draft proposals based on the experience and vast knowledge of its members.
Responding on behalf of the members of the committee, its chairman, Prof. Yadudu, promised that the assignment would be carried out with the utmost dedication and seriousness it deserves.
He commended the education ministry and TETFund for the confidence reposed in the committee, saying: “We will work together and hope we will not disappoint based on the trust you have in us.”
The committee’s terms of reference include to study the master plan document for the establishment of NRDF in Nigeria with a view to understanding its content vis-a-vis the committee tasks; to review the current enabling law (if any) on Research and Development in Nigeria with a view to proposing a draft legislation to the National Assembly on the establishment of NRDF.
Others are to propose areas of cross-cutting and cross-sectoral collaboration with relevant ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), the private sector and industry on the establishment of NRDF and to identify any other salient issue(s) which may be necessary for the overall success of NRDF in Nigeria.
The committee, whose membership is drawn from TETFund, Ministry of Education, National Universities Commission and office of the Secretary to Government of the Federation, among others, has as members: Prof C.K.C Dakas, Prof. Hadiza Galadanchi, Dr Segun Aina, Mr. Grace Ekanem, Pascal Eruagha, Emmanuel Akisa, Dr Mustapha Popoola, two representatives of the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, while Mr. Khalid Abdul will serve as secretary.
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