The Vice Chancellor of the University of Abuja, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah has identified research and development as the driving force for business innovations and initiatives.
He made this known at the signing of memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the varsity and the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) today in Abuja and called for a closer synergy between the business communities and academic institutions as a way to fast-track national development.
The professor of English Literature explained that a collaboration between the sectors was in the interest of both business and the universities, saying it was time for Nigeria to emulate the practice in settled societies where academicians and business community work closely to drive national development.
According to him, the output of research in universities should be the critical raw materials for business innovation and product development across the various sectors of the economy.
He expressed happiness with the collaboration with ACCI, listing areas of the collaboration to include research, training, joint business venture, capacity building and participation of ACCI in the upcoming business school and the mining sector of the school.
Earlier, the ACCI president, represented by the vice president industry, Barr. Jude Igwe, described the signing of the MoU as a milestone for private partnership and an important aspect of the country’s educational and commercial improvement.
He said through the signing, “ACCI and University of Abuja are concluding a partnership agreement in the areas of research, training, capacity building and continuing education, workshops and conferences, executive and regular MBAs, skills development, technology and knowledge transfer, trade fairs and expos, preparation of curriculum and modules for specialized trainings, policy advocacy, amongst others.”
He added: “To prepare a skilled work force, business and educational institutions must partner to preserve our nation’s competitiveness and economic strength in response to a rapidly changing and increasingly competitive world.
“Specifically, our partnership will be through the University of Abuja Business School, Centre for Sponsored Projects, The Internship and Linkages Services, The Centre for Undergraduate Research and The Centre for Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme and Student Employment (SIWES). The centre will partner through ACCI’s Business Entrepreneurship Skills and Technology Centre, Policy Advocacy Centre, Dispute Resolution Centre and The Abuja Trade Centre. We look forward to a successful implementation of the agreements outlined in the MoU.”
A statement by the chamber’s head of press, Olayemi John-Mensah, listed other top-ranking members of the chamber present at the meeting as the vice president, mines, Dr. Anene Johnson; VP agriculture, Dr. Kolawole Owoka; VP commerce, Dr. Sijuade Kayode; DG ACCI, Victoria Akai; ACCI general counsel and registrar general, DRC Aisha Ado Abdullahi.