Acting Provost, College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources, Iseyin campus of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, LAUTECH, Ogbomoso, Professor Jacob Gbemiga Adewale, has given reasons why researches in Nigeria don’t positively impact the socio-economic lives of the citizenry and the nation as a whole.
Nigeria is home to over hundred universities, public and private, aside many other higher institutions of learning including specialized institutes, several of which engage actively in researches many with groundbreaking outcomes but it is observed that the country is still beset by lots of socio-economic problems, making one to wonder the rationale for the huge resources being diverted into researches.
But commenting, the professor of rural development and rural sociology at LAUTECH, during a chat with ogbomosinsightonline.com recently put the blame at the feet of the government, asserting that researchers could only come up with better, more productive ways of doing things through creation of new knowledge or concept, the implementation is the prerogative of the government.
“At our associational meetings/conferences, that is the Rural Sociological Association of Nigeria, our 30th annual conference will be coming up at FUNAB (Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta) this year, we do come up with recommendations, but it is one thing to have our communiqué and advise the government, it is another thing for the government to make use of the recommendations of the association. We are meeting in October again and we will still make our recommendations but unfortunately, it is one thing to make recommendations, it is another thing for the government to implement, particularly at the federal and state levels.”
Meanwhile, Professor Adewale did not support the suggestion that having avalanche of institutions and institutes teaching agriculture in Oyo state (such as University of Ibadan and LAUTECH with their faculties of agriculture, International Institute for Tropical Agriculture, IITA, Cocoa Research institute of Nigeria, CRIN, College of Agriculture and Technology, Igbo-Ora, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics among others all offering agriculture), as an instance, is unproductive in view of the continuous dependence on the northern part of the country for food produce, rather he pointed out other factors as economic or market forces could be responsible for the situation.
“When you talk of production, you talk of distribution, you talk of marketing, you talk of storage. The problem we have is that since individual producers have their freedom, they can sell to where they like. At times, some people from Saki in Oke-Ogun area can decide to sell to Republic of Benin that is close by, maybe they have high market value for their produce selling there. You can’t say they must keep their food for you or they must sell within the country. Some will also export to Ghana, to some neighbouring African countries. So, it is not that we are not producing enough but the way we market, the storage and some other factors, that is why the high level of production is not very visible.”
On a lighter mood he disclosed he also had a farm, gleefully revealing he had taken Ogbomoso as home. “And I am also a farmer in Ogbomoso here, even the best of my home is in Ogbomoso. Until very recently, hardly did people know I am not from Ogbomoso because I have made the town my home, all my children were born in this town. I had been living in Ogbomoso before I later joined LAUTECH, so, I am at home. My people from my hometown always call me ‘Baba Ogbomoso’ because I hardly sleep in Ibadan except we have occasions.”