Research is the tool that drives development in nation. It is through research that new ways of solving problems are found. Albert Einstein once said, you can’t solve problem with the same level of thinking you used to create them. This clearly explains the significance of research because it a process that brings in a new way of thinking by providing fresh ideas and information.
In a country like Nigeria, research is ongoing process taking place in the scores of tertiary institutions, government agencies and private organization spread across the country. But these efforts aren’t exactly creating the much-needed solution due to specific problems affecting research in the country.
This is what this post is all about. In this post, you will discover the problems that have plagued research in the country over the years. And if you’re looking to carry out some research, you will know what to expect and how to avoid or solve these problems.
But first, let’s define research.
Research can be defined as the systematic investigation into and study of materials and sources in order to establish facts and reach new conclusions.
If you attended a tertiary institution in the country, you must have been involved in some form of research in the course of your study. In fact, you couldn’t have graduated if you didn’t go through the process of undertaking some months of undertake extensive research relevant to your area of study as this is a fundamental requirement for graduation
Overall, research is very important part of the training provided in tertiary institutions in Nigeria and beyond the problems of research, there are extensive benefits, some of which are highlighted below.
Update and improve knowledge
Extensive study of materials leads to the discovery of new knowledge. This is why the university is one of the major centres of research as it provides information not just to students but to the general populace as well.
However, the process of discovering new ideas or information requires time, energy and resources which some times isn’t available.
Increasing knowledge base through research can help to create new ways of doing things and this is basically what creativity is all about.
Research also creates a repository of knowledge which problem solvers can tap into when tackling the problems they face. Also, information is fundamental to the operation of any endeavour and it is research that provides the necessary information.
Problems of Research in Nigeria
Now that we know the prospects of research, let’s take a look at the problems facing research in the country.
Paucity of funds
One of the problems with research is that research facilities are not cheap or easy to set up. This is worsened by the fact that there’s very minimal funding allocated to research in Nigeria. In fact, many Nigerian researchers have to look for international opportunities to provide the grants and resources need to do research.
This inadequacy has also led to the lack of motivation to do research in the country.
This problem is directly linked to the paucity of funds as many bright minds and scholars have left the shores of the country to more favourable climes where there’s sufficient access to funds and resources needed to do research.
Lack of research infrastructure
Many of the instituitions where research ought to be carried out are lacking in terms of equipments. In fact, researchers sometimes have to travel across the country to use basic laboratory equipments. Sometimes, they have to pay exorbitant fees in private facilities in order to carry out their research.
This is one of the major problem facing research in the countryas many government departments and business executives are yet to grasp the importance of research and this has led to their apathy towards supporting such endeavours.
Finding information is the essential template for successful research. Unfortunately, the database and information system in Nigeria is terribly broken and this has made it quite difficult to do research in the country.
In fact, the collation of statistics is almost absent in the country as a result, researchers can only extrapolate based on the information they have received from developed countries.
Also, there are few libraries in Nigeria and many of these are under-stocked when it comes to providing relevant research materials.
Poor research methodologies
Due to the apathy towards research in the country, researchers undertaking research in the country often employ the wrong methodology and sometimes don’t follow the necessary research ethical guidelines.
Generally, this boils down to inadequate training meted out to these researchers and this wrong methodologies often lead to the wrong results.
Sub-standard educational system
It is no longer news that the education system in the country is broken and needs to be fixed. This broken system has permeated into every facet of education including research leading to the inability of the country to create new set of vibrants researchers
Solutions to the Research Problems in Nigeria
However, every problem has a solution; here are some solutions to the research problems in Nigeria.
The government needs to implement policies that will ensure that research is given utmost priority in both the public and private sector. This will go a long way in solving some of the major research problems in the country.
Apart from formulating policies, it is also important for the government to allocate a substantial portion of its budget to research
It is usually difficult for the government alone to fund research, this is why there’s the need to facilitate partnership with private organization to enhance the process.
Also, there’s a lot of data locked in the database of private firms which can be very useful for research, these partnership can ensure that this is possible.
Apart from direct financial and technical support from the government and other corporate organisations, there is a continuous need for international assistance through the provision of fellowships, field trips, visiting researchers and establishing facilities for research studies.