By Adedapo Adesanya The Dangote Group has reiterated its commitment to partnering with research institutions for the advancement of indigenous technology and national development. This pledge was made by Mr Mansur Ahmed, Group Executive Director, Dangote Group, in Lagos during a study tour of the Research and Development Steering Committee of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to the Dangote Refinery, Petrochemicals and Fertiliser projects in Ibeju Lekki, Lagos. The delegation, comprising top academicians and researchers, was led by the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Mr Suleiman Bogoro. Mr Ahmed said collaboration among the government, academia and industry was needed to set Nigeria on the path of industrial development. He said, \u201dThe Dangote Group believes that there needs to be a synergy between the researchers in the universities and the industries, like what is found in advanced economies. \u201cThe industry and the academia need to work together to identify issues and problems that are looking for solutions and the researchers will now come back with their findings and proposed solutions. \u201dIf the solution meets the expectations of the industry, you will get the two working together to find homegrown solutions to our problems. \u201cI think the idea initiated now by TETFUND is a welcome development and we should make sure that whatever research that is going on in our universities is research that is useful and can be practicalised in our industries. \u201dThis will expand the scope of indigenous technology.\u201d Mr Ahmed emphasised that the Dangote Refinery project would generate over 250,000 direct and indirect jobs for Nigerians when completed. According to him, part of the collaboration is to ensure that Nigerian graduates are equipped with the set skills to immediately fit into the industry upon employment, instead of wasting more years in training them. On his part, Mr Bogoro said the visit was aimed at bridging the gap between the industry and the academia, adding that the committee was made up of over 100 eminent scholars and researchers. \u201cThis committee has 13 sub-committees and today four of them are here on this visit. \u2018We have the Engineering, Bio-resource and Environment, Energy as well as Petroleum, Mining and Extraction sub-committees. \u201dWe couldn\u2019t have started this tour better than visiting Dangote Group which is the most innovative indigenous company. \u201cWe believe that through researches and collaboration with the industry, we will be able to apply science and technology to improve our country, \u201d Mr Bogoro said.