The federal government has set up a N3billion national research fund to assist universities in making meaningful research geared towards solving national problems.
President Muhammadu Buhari made the disclosure about the research fund on Saturday in Sokoto during his message to the joint 32nd, 33rd and 34th convocation and 40th anniversary ceremonies of the Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto.
President Buhari, who was represented by the executive secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof Julius Okojie, charged the nation’s universities to undertake researches in solar and other renewable energy sources with the aim of solving Nigeria’s power problems.
“The universities should embrace education to solve the challenges facing the nation now. Universities should also be vanguards in the diversification of the nation’s revenue sources in view of the falling prices of crude oil in the world market.
“Universities should also rack their brains and come up with alternative sources of sustaining the nation’s economy,’’ President Buhari said.
The president also expressed the commitment of his administration to continue to be alive to its responsibilities to the education sector. He added that such commitment led to the increase in the budgetary allocation to the sector in 2016.
He also promised that universities would continue to be assisted to function effectively while also calling on the organised private sector and other stakeholders to lend their support to the government in funding education at all levels.
Also at the event, newly installed Chancellor of the university and the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu called on all Nigerians to support President Buhari in ensuring the success of the ongoing war against corruption.
“Buhari is a focussed, patriotic, pious and committed leader who needs the support of all Nigerians,’’ Oba Akiolu said.
The university’s Pro-Chancellor and chairman of council, George Egabor however called on the federal government to increase the subventions to the institution. He said even though the subvention had improved over time, it remained largely inadequate.