‘How High Internet Cost Kills Local Research, Innovation’
High internet cost is killing research and innovation in Nigeria, the Vice Chancellor of African University of Science and Technology, Abuja, Prof Peter Onwualu has said.
Speaking on Monday during the Nigerian Academy of Science (NAS’) stakeholders’ workshop titled Strengthening Research Capacity in Nigeria, Onwualu, said researchers in Nigeria were being inhibited by high internet tariffs and this in turn was affecting the economy.
“High cost of the internet is really affecting research and innovation in the country. Many researchers and innovators can not do much research online because of the high internet cost. For instance, in my university (African University of Science and Technology) I was once given a bill of N20 million as internet cost for just three months. Even if as a VC, I approve such a huge amount, where can we have money to pay it every three months? I said we can’t sustain it. Then, we had to restrict our internet usage and this is affecting research and innovation”, the VC said.
He said this was a peculiar problem across Nigeria universities and research institutes, adding that the government needed to tackle it.
But the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Architect Sunday Echono said the Fund had spent N5.7 billion in the last five months as grants to high institutions in the country.
Echono said TETFUND had equally established 12 innovation hubs, six each in universities and polytechnics in the country.
In her opening remarks, the president of NAS, Prof Ekanem Braide, said the academy the workshop was hosted to identify and solve the challenges in conducting scientific research in the country.
Prof Braide called on Nigerian researchers to engage in developmental research in order to develop the country’s economy.