Lagos - The Lagos State has presented cheques worth over N142 million as first tranche of research grants to 31 organisations engaged in forms of research that would impact positively on the state and the country.
The grant, the first by any state in the country, went to seven higher institutions which were successful among the 78 that presented and defended their proposals before the assessment committee of the State Research and Development Council.
The state had earlier set aside the grant and set up the Lagos State Research and Development Council with the mandate to call for and assess research ideas and advise government accordingly on it.
The research grants would cover ten sectors with three projects approved in agriculture, three in education, six in environmental science, one in finance, eight in health, one in water, one in information communication technology, one in manufacturing, three in power and energy and three in creative arts.
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Speaking at the presentation ceremony held at the Lagos House, Ikeja, Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola, reiterated that the decision to fund the research efforts was borne out of a pursuit of knowledge and support for individuals with innovation.
He explained that out of the seven institutions that would benefit from the research grants, one was outside Lagos and shared jurisdictional affinity with the University of Lagos, which is also a beneficiary despite being federal institutions.
Fashola who thanked the members of the Research Council for the work it embarked upon to come to the symbolic milestone.
“I know that we often say that the human capital is the most important resource that we have but have we given the human capital the best opportunity to be all that it can be. I can only imagine the frustrations that have gone on in the minds of scientists and academics bustling with ideas and not finding an outlet and the opportunity to express it and to experiment. When I see the level of consumption that we generate for other people’s ideas and other people’s products such as Facebook, Google, wristwatches and all sorts of things, the question I ask is, Where is the Nigerian idea?”, he stressed.
He added that he had already challenged the scientists who are his colleagues in the State Executive Council on whether they studied differently from what their contemporaries who are now producing these things underwent adding that such healthy discussions gave birth to the idea of research.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Research and Development Council, Professor Olufemi Bamiro thanked Lagos State for its commitment to research and innovation development in the state.
He said at the end of the call for proposals, 137 proposals were received from researchers in the various institutions in the state and many outside and that 78 were shortlisted as fundable.
– CAJ News