Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Arc. Sonny Echono, has lamented the shortage of skills in critical sectors of the nation’s economy.
During an interactive meeting with Rectors and Directors of Research of Polytechnics on National Research Fund, (NRF) in Abuja on Wednesday, Echono tasked polytechnics across the country to embark on quality research proposals that would translate into commercial and innovative use.
He said the fund wants to see polytechnics taking more active part in solving society’s problems.
“No research would be of benefit to a country like Nigeria, if we are not translating that and applying the products of such research to affect our daily lives; if we are not transferring that knowledge, that creative spark, into the production of goods and services that could create employment for our people, that would improve our standard of living and that would grow our economy, and activate all segments of our economy.”
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“I believe you are aware that there is a compelling need for a shift in focus. We are producing graduates in an economy that is underdeveloped yet they are unable to find employment. We are having situations where foreign concerns, foreign companies, foreign businesses are relocating to our country under the guise of not having the right manpower to carry out their operations.
“The other aspect is that we continue to produce manpower that the current structure of our economy can no longer absorb,” he said.
Earlier, the Director, Executive Secretary’s Office, Arc. Uchendu Wogu, said the Fund recognizes the fact that research is not a one-man show but needs collaboration and must be multi disciplinary
While saying the Fund is committed to ensuring the adoption of international best practices, in delivering research mandates, he urged the polytechnics to rise up to the challenge of producing quality research proposals.
“Indeed, the polytechnic sector has not shown too much of a good performance, not to say that they are not doing well in the NRF angle particularly.”