Diversification requires adequate funding of research institutions – physicist

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INADEQUATE funding of research institutions and its attendant workers’ strikes are hindering diversification of the nation’s economy, the Nigeria Institute of Physics (NIP) said on Tuesday. The NIP National President, Prof. Hyacinth Aboh, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that workers’ strikes in the institutions were slowing down researches and negatively affecting the economy.

“The government is thinking of diversification of the economy, and one of the areas is agriculture. Researches in agricultural sciences will be slowed down, and that will affect the economy. Also, someone in the automobile industry will not be able to make any impact as a result of the strike; this will affect the transportation industry,” Aboh said.

Aboh said that the slowing down was not needed because Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) had been identified as a major tool for societal development. The NIP president appealed to the federal and state governments to properly fund researches and research institutions to boost the economy.

NAN reports that workers in research institutions have been on strike since November, 2017. They embarked on the strike under the aegis of Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions, which include the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions and the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions.

They are protesting non-implementation of agreements reached with the Federal Government on new salary structures, unpaid earned allowances, among other demands.

According to Mr Muyiwa Babatimehin, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Nigeria Institute of Social Economic Research,Ibadan,  the unions will not resume work until the Federal Government would look into their case.

“If the government does not put things right now in the research institutions, it will be a setback to the nation’s economy,” he said.

– Feb.  13, 2018 @ 14:50 GMT |

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