Actualisation of the National Research and Innovation Council (Establishment Bill, 2019).

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The Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), Nigeria, urges all lovers of Nigeria and humanity to sign this petition and also encourage others to sign it to appreciate the zeal of President Buhari for Technological Revolution in Nigeria and also to appeal to him to write his name in gold by assenting to the National Research and Innovation Council (NRIC) Bill, 2019. The establishment of NRIC, which has been delayed for 53 years, will resolve most of the nation’s current unprecedented socio-economic quandary.

Please note that one of the most remarkable deeds of President Buhari was the inauguration of the NRIC on January 6, 2016. NRIC is the driving force of National Policy on Science and Technology (NPST). The policy was initiated in 1966 and had been reviewed 13 times until President Buhari mustered the political will to inaugurate the Council. Thereafter, 50 Senators in the 8th National Assembly co-sponsored the NRIC Bill, 2019, to give legal backing to the Council to provide institutionalized mechanism for coordination and funding of research activities in both public and private sectors. The Bill was passed but returned by Mr. President citing some grey areas. It was promptly rectified and has now been re-presented for Presidential assent.

Being one of the most endowed nations in the world, in diversity, quantity and quality of human and natural resources, Nigeria should be among the richest nations in the world, but ironically it has been designated the current poverty capital of the world. Nigeria is currently bedeviled by a staggering unemployment rate, mass poverty and hunger, resulting in insecurity, insurgency, assassinations, ritual killings, cybercrime, kidnapping, prostitution, human trafficking and slavery, drug abuse, emigration, maternal and child mortality and life expectancy of 54.5 years (lowest in West Africa).

President Buhari believes in the capacity of NRIC to change Nigeria’s poverty narrative. While inaugurating the NRIC in 2016, he expressed the hope of Nigeria producing Nobel Laureates. Many other eminent Nigerians and foreigners, including Ambassadors of China and USA in Nigeria, have observed that neglect of research is responsible for high rate of unemployment, poverty and insecurity that is pushing the nation to the brink.

Many current rich nations such as South Korea, China, India, Japan, and Malaysia, which do not have natural resources near the endowment of Nigeria, initiated their Science and Technology policies at about the same time as Nigeria but they were consistent with the implementation through legislated structures and have transformed their economies through research and Innovation. A case study of South Korea reveals that its investment in Research and Development (R&D) in 2014 totaled 4.29% of its GDP. This amounts to US$60.5 billion (N18.42 trillion). This investment in R&D alone is more than double the entire Nigerian 2019 budget. At independence, the Nigerian economy/GDP was at par if not better than those of these nations, but we have transformed from net exporter to importer of goods and services from them.

The entirety of Oganized Labour in Nigeria - NLC, TUC and ULC included the appeal for Presidential assent to NRIC Bill in their 2019 Mayday speeches.

Please sign this online letter to add your voice in appreciating the patriotic zeal of President Buhari and also appeal to him to give his assent to the NRIC Bill, 2019 for a better Nigeria.

Theophilus C.N. Ndubuaku PhD
Secretary General, ASURI