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FG inaugurates committee to draft bill to transit to knowledge economy

The Ministry of Education has inaugurated an 11-member National Research and Development Foundation(NRDF) Draft Executive Bill Committee to define the path of Nigeria’s knowledge economy.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Sonny Echono, inaugurated the committee on behalf of the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu on Tuesday, in Abuja.

He said that having a legal framework to back up research and development in the country would go a long way in finding lasting solutions to challenges being faced in different sectors of the economy.

The minister added that the fashioning out of a legal framework would help define the place of research and development as the main parameter for measuring the strength and sustainability of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“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.

“The nation has high expectations from the outcome of your work because the Ministry has decided to demonstrate that we house historically acknowledged leaders of research, being universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.

“They hold the task of defining 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 as the main parameter for measuring the strength and sustainability of our GDP,” he said.

The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said that the move to have a law guiding research and development in Nigeria, become necessary in view of the need to be more competitive.

He added that it would also chart the right course for Nigeria.

“In the face of the challenges, we always find our rhythm as a country with the military and other stakeholders playing their parts.

“As intellectuals, we must also play our part by doing the right thing as we are doing now with regard to research and development to chart the path for Nigeria,” Bogoro said.

The Chairman of the drafting committee, Prof. Awalu Yadudu, expressed the committee’s commitment to coming up with a bill that would be beneficial to all.

“I commend the government for bringing together a team of people with different talents to draft the bill.

“We will work to come up with something that 20 years to come will be useful to the development of the nation.

“We will put in our best not to disappoint you,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that members of the 11-member National Research and Development Foundation(NRDF) Draft Executive Bill Committee are drawn from the legal profession, academia, government and the private sector.

NAN further reports that the terms of reference for members of the committee include studying the Master Plan document for the establishment of the National Research and Development Fund(NRDF).

Other terms of reference are reviewing current enabling law, if any, on research and development in Nigeria, proposing areas of cross-cutting and cross-sectional collaboration with relevant Ministries, Agencies and Departments(MDAs).

The members are also expected to identify other salient issues, which may be necessary for the overall success of the NRDF.

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