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TETFund boosts local production of military equipment

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says it has commenced financial intervention in Research and Development (R&D) activities in the defence and security sub-sector.

Executive Secretary of the Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, made this known while declaring open a four-day TETFund/ R&D Standing Committee meeting yesterday in Abuja.

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He said the move would ensure that Nigerian armed forces have the capacity to produce adequate weapons and other equipment that can be deployed in the fight against terrorism and other security challenges.

According to Bogoro, TETFund’s efforts in deepening R&D in the country has also yielded results in the area of supporting institutions and researchers to develop coronavirus vaccine and production of other items to battle the dreaded virus.

“Mr. President, last year, told Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, to instruct TETFund to support the Federal Government’s initiatives on responding to the COVID-19 threat through ground-breaking research for phyto-medical drugs, prophylactics, personal protective equipment and eventually vaccines.

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“I am pleased to inform you that TETFund has gone far in implementing the President’s directives and soon the results will be announced.

“Similarly, TETFund has commenced funding of Defence and Security R&D towards responding to the unfortunate security challenges, including insurgency, in the country, towards making Nigeria self-sufficient in locally produced technology for our armed forces and other security agencies,” the TETFund boss said.

While calling for support on the proposed R&D National Foundation to make Nigeria more competitive at the international level as well as ensuring a knowledge-based economy, Bogoro said the meeting was aimed at charting a way forward on reports by various sub-committees on their resource visits to states in the country.

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The TETFund’s boss expressed sadness that four members of the committee passed away in recent months, assuring the families that they won’t be forgotten because they died in service of the nation.

He listed the deceased members as Profs. Emmanuel Ezugwu, Femi Odekunle, Habu Galadima and Oyewusi Ibidapo-Obe.

Chairman of the committee, Emeritus Professor Njidda Gadzama, said the body was able to come up with an action plan that would see establishment of the R & D Foundation.

According to him, the visits of the 13 thematic groups to 390 strategic institutions revealed that Nigeria has all what it takes to compete favourably with other countries in the area of innovation and scientific development.

One of the vice-chairmen of the TETFund R&D Standing Committee, Dr. Mansur Ahmed, said Nigeria needed to leverage on R&D to usher in the desired development.

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