Expert says lack of maintenance culture, funds hinder purposeful research in Nigeria

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By Olayinka Owolewa

Offa (Kwara), Oct. 30, 2020 Mr Ismaila Yekini, Director, Federal Science Equipment Centre (FSEC), Lagos, has identified lack of maintenance culture on research facilities and inadequate research funding among others as the bane of purposeful scientific research in the country.

Yekini made the assertion at a workshop organised by FSEC on Friday in Offa, the headquarters of Offa Local Government Area of Kwara.

He noted that if Nigeria must meet up with the world standard best practices in the area of research and development, refurbishing and maintenance of laboratory equipment must be treated as priority.

He added that sub-standard laboratories, fabrication of result and falsification of research processes, plagiarism, insecurity and poor technological advancement had also hindered scientific research in the country.

Yekini said that maintenance culture which encompassed provision of adequate care of the hard earned equipment and infrastructure had not gained ground in the consciousness of resource managers in Nigeria.

According to him, these actions in a myriad of ways have resulted to colossal waste of scarce resources.

The director, however, advocated for the procurement of quality and durable equipment and provision of yearly maintenance cost if poor research was to be annihilated.

“Just as every pad-lock has a special key and enzymes are specific in operation, so also every problem has its unique solution,” he said.

Yekini noted that funds for research and maintenance of equipment must be strictly used for its purpose without any form of diversion.

“The National Orientation Agency should design regular enlightenment campaign so as to properly educate Nigerians on the essence and benefit of maintenance culture.

“A Maintenance Department that is well equipped and funded should be domiciled in every faculty of Universities and the head should be held responsible for any equipment that is allowed to waste when its life span has not expired.

“Development fees paid by undergraduate students should be used adequately and properly accounted for by the school management.

“An independent Maintenance Enforcement Commission should be established to oversee the role of maintenance departments,” he recommended.

On the training, one of the participants, Mr Musbaudeen Sodipo, the Head of Technical of FSEC, said he would facilitate the growth and development of the centre.

Sodipo said though he had attended series of training, but this one had widened his knowledge on the subject discussed.

“This training gives us increased knowledge and good performances because we have modern equipment that were recently bought.

“It moves from analogue to digital. We come here, we see a lot of machines which are new and can be used to add more to our knowledge from where we have been coming from,” he said.

Declaring the workshop open, the Rector, Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Dr Lateef Olatunji, thanked FSEC for bringing the training to the institution.

The rector while enumerating some of the giant strides of the school, said the polytechnic had a lot of capacity to produce locally made goods for consumption of the Nigerian masses.

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