Minister of Communications, Pantami pushes for new research grants, backs TETFund’s R&D initiative

Dr Isa Pantami, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy has said that he would encourage agencies under his ministry to roll out grants to boost research activities in the country.

Pantami stated this during a visit to his office by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFund) Research and Development (R&D) Standing Committee’s team on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Digital Economy on Tuesday in Abuja.

The Minister commended TETFund for putting in place the research committee, saying the move would entrench a knowledge-based economy and tackle developmental challenges.

Pantami also said other parastatals would be encouraged to follow the same path as the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have instituted research grants.

“We have research grants in NITDA, NCC too, but they are not sufficient. We need to look at the possibility of encouraging more parastatals,” Pantami said.

“There is a huge gap between academia on one hand and industries on the other, that gap brought about our challenge of what we usually called unemployment, which to me is not unemployment, but unemployability.

“If you look at the number of our graduates, you will be worried, but in the real sense, you will discover graduates usually graduate with only theory, the practicals are not sufficient, this is the gap, they don’t have enough skills that will prepare them for an opportunity immediately.”

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