Special Report! A Quick Review of Research Funding Agencies in Nigeria

March 23 2018, By Ayodeji Solomon

I remembered the last time I mentioned the word 'grant' in front of a Nigerian scholar. The looks in his eyes was so strange. He wanted to eat me alive. Just like any other Nigerian, he argued blindly and yelled, “There’s none! No matter how clever the innovation is, you’ll have to fund it yourself ”.

And if you’re like this man, I’m here to hit you with the truth. I mean, if getting grants for your research projects funded in Nigeria seem mysterious to you, too, then, you are not alone. In this article, I will hold you by the hand and take you out of that mental fog. Want more proof? Forget everything and quickly read the following lines.

Here is a brief review of research funding agencies in Nigeria:

1. NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL EXTENSION AND RESEARCH LIAISON SERVICES (NAERLS)
This organization is basically driven by the need to deliver information inputs to farmers. We can call them the middleman between the lab and the farmers -the backbone of agricultural development in Nigeria. Their reach has touched almost all the local governments in Nigeria. In many ways, they've increased our productivity by channeling funds from the government and the donor communities to national researches and extension systems.


Along these same lines, they welcome innovations on agricultural research and extension; as long as it will provide more capacity in farmers and help to meet the country's present and future agricultural development limitations. You can always reach them through their website.

2. AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL OF NIGERIA (ARCN)
This is a government-mandated research funding body. They take on the sole responsibility of releasing research grants, supervising, coordinating, evaluating, and monitoring agricultural research.

Although, they give out grant pretty easily, especially when the need is well-defined and substantiated, but, their downside, as of the time of writing this review is that, they only give grants that the Honorable Minister for Agriculture endorsed. When you go through them, and what you want to work on is genuine, ARCN will influence the response through the policy advisory services they give to the Federal Government of Nigeria on Agricultural research and development.


They have a lot of medals on their belt, as they've done this with all the Agricultural Research Institutes, eighteen Federal Agricultural Colleges, and three Universities of Agriculture in Nigeria.

3. NIGERIAN INSTITUTE OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC RESEARCH (NISER)
This is the authorized institute empowered to conduct research, provide consultancy services. In fact, policy dialogues and collaborations with institutions nationally and internationally in the area of social and economic development are organized and handled by the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research.


They also have a nationwide network, too. They've been one of the few institutes that promote local collaboration, and link governments with communities.

To wrap it up, while I carefully distilled the list, and came up with those three, I am not in any way suggesting that these are the only research funding agencies in Nigeria. No. It's not an exaggeration, the next person on the other side of this page might happen to have one, or planning to have his own research funding agency.
So, as this article ends, you notice the mystery behind research grant has disappeared. Please, don't forget to share the other ones you know In the comment box.

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