There is a growing concern among scholars in developing societies about the paucity of home grown research activities in spite of the numerous inherent benefits. Some of the Challenges of research effort in Nigeria, and by extension, other developing nations are discussed below:
- Inadequate skilled manpower: This may sound absurd, especially in the face of high rate of unemployment coupled with large volume of graduates being turned out by our Nigerian universities on annual basis. But it is equally true that there are a lot of vacancies for competent hands in the area of research. We have a very challenging situation where Nigerian universities turn out Masters and Ph.D graduates that cannot effectively conduct research. This leads to a situation where very few skilled hands are kept terribly very busy while the majority is roaming the streets looking for job.
- Limited funds devoted to research: On all fronts, it must be appreciated that today is far better than it was some years ago when it comes to supporting research activities; however, the Nigerian industrial and political public are yet to be fully convinced that investment in research is worth the while. Both members of the academia and the industry are yet to give research and development its pride of place in their budget. This leaves most of the research activities in the hands of foreigners which are unfortunate.
- Corruption and recalcitrant attitudes of Nigerian public office holders: This attitude hinders research in three ways. First, most of the Nigerian corrupt officials sometimes use research as a ploy to collect monies that are embezzled and haphazard reports submitted as research findings; second, even when researches are conducted that tries to provide information that will arouse public interest towards their activities they will strive to hinder public dissemination of the report and finally, some of them hide certain relevant information from researchers and sometimes give them misleading data that will tilt the findings the way they would want it. All these discourage research activities in Nigeria.
- Poor societal value towards academic outputs: The general societal attitude towards research and academic activities is anything but encouraging. Findings from rigorous research investigations are not celebrated. Most people do not bother to read them. Some read them and give it their own interpretations. It is quite unfortunate that recent research efforts by international organizations to provide situational analysis of the various sectors and public activities of the Nigerian society have met with criticism. Instead of using it as a basis for improvement, most public officers quarrel with the methodology of investigation and even go as far as suspecting political enemies as being behind the assessments.