Mr Babatunde Fashola, a former Minister of Works and Housing , said that research capacity should be properly utilised to enhance the country’s economic growth .
Fashola made this known during a visit of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) Foundation Board of Trustees to the institute.
Fashola, who is the Chairman of the NIMR Foundation, led members of the board of trustees on the visit.
He said: “Anybody that is interested in improving the human condition and human civilisation must be interested in research.
“We are sitting on a goldmine in this country because it is already here from what I have seen in NIMR after touring the facilities.
“You need to refine a mine gold for it to come out fine and this can be linked to research because we have the capacity, and all that is needed is investment or fund to put the capacity into use.
“Research is a big employer of labour in the world, so any investment put into research will help to proffer solutions to problems, create jobs, provide supports for supply, input, output and more.
“This is another sector of our economy that should be opened up and it requires all of us to come together because the government cannot do it alone”.
The former Governor of Lagos State added that the foundation had raised over N300 Million to support the country’s scholars on various research works.
“We have raised about N300 million and we still need more funds to support,” he said.
Speaking earlier, the Director-General of NIMR, Prof. Babatunde Salako, said the institute was able to make significant contributions through some of the groundbreaking research works.
Salako said the institute would continue to uphold its mandate which bordered on carrying out research on health issues that were of public importance to the nation.
The D-G who reiterated his call for the establishment of a research council, said it would help to address the issue of funding.
“We are alive to our mandate as an institute saddled with a lot of responsibilities to increase and improve the health indices of the country through research works.
“The country can do more in research as a country, if we have a research council in place that will finance research works directly to enhance our capacity,” he said.