RESEARCH: KEY TO SOCIO-ECONOMIC DEVT IN NIGER DELTA
BY KUNLE KALEJAYE
The incessant crisis in the oil rich Niger Delta region of the country could be linked to the past failure of developmental efforts to recognize the pivotal role research plays in driving the socio-economic needs, growth and development in the region.
As a way lending it support to the region the Foundation for Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND), a non-profit foundation established by Chevron Corporation to provide support for socio-economic development programs in the Niger Delta region has awarded $25,000 each to Aries Concept Nigeria Limited and the South-South Office of the National Centre for Technology Management (NACETEM).
The organizations will be utilized the grants to conduct action-oriented research in the Niger Delta which will inform and influence policy and practice and promote a culture of research and learning in the areas of accelerated technology-based socio-economic development and the role of traditional gender norms in equitable socio-economic development.
According to PIND the grants will also strengthen research capacities and create opportunities for analysis, reflection and debate among development stakeholders and networks in the Niger Delta.
Speaking at the signing of the grants agreement, PIND's Deputy Project Director, Sam Ogbemi Daibo said the Small Research Grant Program would engage with policymakers, civil society, think-tanks, researchers, academia and students to undertake and promote the use of these supported researches and publications.
According to him, 'It is envisaged that these group of stakeholders will be transformed into advocacy and research networks for jointly addressing socio-economic needs in the Niger Delta''.
Bankole Ebisemiju, Managing Director of Aries Concept Nigeria Limited noted that the program would give their organization the opportunity to generate evidence -based research information that could be used to improve the quality of development planning in the Niger Delta and Nigeria as a whole.
In his own remarks, Ini Ekanem, Director of NACETEM South-South Office commended the transparent manner in which the selection was done stating that his organization applied for the grant following newspaper advertisement.
The Small Research Grants Program aims to address these challenges and reduce the gaps in connecting research to effective programs development in the Niger Delta region.