By Orowo Victoria Ojieh
Vice-Chancellor, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Prof. Charles Igwe, has lamented the absence of budgets in research institutions for efficient environmental research in the country.
He said this at the Environmental stakeholders’ review on Resources and Environmental Policy Research Centre, Environment for Development (REPRC-EfD), for five years strategic plan on environmental issues in Abuja.
According to him, the absence of allocation funds for research in the annual budget for universities is a challenge to the efficiency of research institutions in Nigeria. Igwe added that serious work such as setting up more programmes needed to be done to help Nigeria solve its numerous environmental problems, The Trumpet gathered.
“I commended the Centre for its achievements on the strategic plan which will help the centre to carry out a focused intervention in the core areas of its mandate.
“I am also commending TETfund for its intervention in research funding. “Meanwhile, the absence of allocation of funds for research in the annual budget of universities is a challenge to the efficiency of research institutions in Nigeria,” he said. Director of REPRC-EfD Nigeria, Dr Nnaemeka Chukwuone, said that the centre has produced over 28 high impact research publications since it was established in 2019.
He said that the centre has developed pilot natural capital accounts for Nigeria, for review of the country’s fishery Act, capacity building training for government technical staff among others.
“The strategic plan will last for five years from 2022 to 2026 and will help the centre to achieve specific objectives through research, policy engage ments and capacity building for researchers.
“Our target is to use research to influence policies that will make our environment better.” Chukwuone also stated that the objectives of the REPRC-EfD are to conduct policy-impact researches that will help Nigeria solve its environmental challenges.
Prof. Emmanuel Oladipo, the Chairman of REPRC Policy Advisory Panel, called on the government to set up a National Research Council that would determine the country’s problems and provide solutions. Oladipo added that the council would help to carry out solution-based research on environmental problems.
Furthermore, the Chairman of REPRC strategic planning committee, Prof. Anthonia Achike, stated that the event was organised to solicit recommendations of environmental experts and stakeholders in order to calibrate the strategic plan.