The Parliamentary Select Committee on Environment, Science and Technology last Wednesday visited the Animal Research Institute (ARI) to familiarise itself about the activities of the institute.
Receiving the honourable members to the ARI premises was the Deputy Director of the Institute, Dr. Franklin K. Avornyo, who described the visit as “a special moment, and it is new.” It was an auspicious moment for the ARI to bring to the front burner the challenges it has faced over the years.
The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) of which the ARI is an appendage, the Deputy Director said, was established as a world-class quarternary institution to undertake scientific research for national development. “During that time, lecturers from our top universities aspired to be employed at CSIR,” he disclosed.
It was a powerhouse of scholars, he told the guests, but continuing, he noted that “what we see these days is that the tables have turned and scientists are leaving CSIR to join the universities, including the recently established technical universities.”
It was indeed a working visit which afforded the law makers an opportunity to learn more about the challenges the research institution is facing, a presentation the research scientist did without mincing words.
The idea behind the establishment of the CSIR College of Science and Technology also has to do with achieving parity with the public universities in terms of conditions of service, he told the guests, adding that “currently, we are getting more of our staff doing research as well as teaching graduate students in our College and perhaps in other universities.”
He, however, expressed gratitude “to all our stakeholders who have been fighting all along to drive home the point that research centres and institutions, in every country, are highly strategic for driving national agenda and it should be valued as such.”
The visit, he said “also marks an opportunity for the staff of Animal Research Institute and staff from our Head Office seated here to ask all the questions concerning the current direction that government has for research, as well as forge partnerships with the honourable members with whom we should be working closely.”
He asked government to “periodically give us specific research areas that we should tackle in the livestock sector and fund them,” as he gave the assurance that “we will live up to the task just like researchers in other countries are doing.”
The 18-member Select Committee is chaired by Dr. Emmanuel Marfo, his vice being Dickson Adomako Kissi. Other members are Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Ranking Member; Hamza Adam, Deputy Ranking Member; Amidu Chinnia Issahaku, Member; Yao Gomado, Member and Adelaide Ntim, Member, among others.