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Does NIPRD have power for professorial award?

By Ibrahim Myado

The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) is an Agency of the Federal Government establishment by Act No 33 Vol. 74 of 11th June, 1987. The NIPRD is also an Agency under the Federal Ministry of Health.

By nature, research institutes are important educational learning centres. They contribute immensely to the body of knowledge. They serve a lot of purposes, including research on critical fields like agriculture, pharmaceuticals, petroleum, social sciences and many fields.

The primary objectives of these research centres is research and not teaching. They could carry out some teaching especially in peripheral activities, but they concentrate majorly on research.

Why then does fingers point at NIPRD said to be awarding the titles of “Associate Professors” and “Professors” to certain categories of its research staff?

This aberration was allegedly introduced by the immediate past Director-General/CEO of the Agency, Prof. K. S. Gamaniel through his yet-to-be-ratified Scheme and Conditions of Service of NIPRD. Through this document, the correct cadre was alleged to have been deliberately removed and the right to award professorship was introduced into the organization without due authorization.

A sister-research institute to NIPRD is the Nigerian Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) Lagos. NIMR is doing the right thing in the career advancement of its Research Fellows cadre as follows: Junior Research Fellow, Junior Research Fellow II, Research Fellow I, Senior Research Fellow, Chief Research Fellow, Deputy Director of Research and Director of Research.

There is a whole lot of difference when the above is compared with the career path with NIPRD’s as follows: Research Assistant, Junior Research Fellow I, Junior Research Fellow II, Research Fellow I, Senior Research Fellow, Associate Research Professor and Research Professor.

It is very cunning and questionable for the Research Fellows on Associate Research Professor and Research Professor ranks to address themselves as “Professors”. This is really fraudulent.

It is very important to note that the Act No 33 Vol. 74 of 11th June, 1987 did not give the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) the powers to award professorship; yet, this abnormality has been in operation at the agency for the past ten years or so.

It is therefore important to draw the attention of relevant agencies such as the National Universities Commission, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Academy of the Science, ICPC and other relevant organisations to investigate this aberration and direct that the needful be done.

This error should not be allowed to continue in an agency of the federal government of Nigeria. It is a gross insult to the collective integrity of the Nigerian Intellectual space. It is a scam crying for review!

Ibrahim Myado is a public affairs analyst based in Abuja

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