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TETFund proposes N8.5b for research in 2021, grants UNILAG N5b

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
18 December 2020   |   4:09 am
Board of Trustees of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has increased national research vote from N7.5 billion to N8.5 billion for 2021.

UNILAG. Photo: ACNNTV

Board of Trustees of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has increased national research vote from N7.5 billion to N8.5 billion for 2021.

It also announced a N5 billion special intervention for the University of Lagos (UNILAG). The chairman, Alhaji Kashim Imam, who disclosed this at a capacity building workshop for heads of institutions in Abuja, stressed the importance of research to national development.

Since research is invisible, he said the establishment had to strike a balance between funding physical infrastructure on one side, and knowledge acquisition on the other hand.

On TETFund’s academic development programme, Imam stated that the list of beneficiary PhDs and Master’s was incredible, warning that if the country funds infrastructure without research and scholarship, the institutions would only be half-fulfilled.

He announced that the organisation would establish additional 12 centres of excellence next year, and allocate N1 billion each to them.

The chairman stated: “Six state universities and six polytechnics would be added to the centres of excellence next year, and 70 per cent of the funds will be for research funding.”

Also speaking, the fund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, clarified that the scheme was, at the first instance, a zonal tertiary education project to promote specialisation among participating universities within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and agriculture among others.

He said the project was to tackle identified national development challenges and strengthen universities to deliver high quality training and research.

Bogoro, while charging the centres, noted: “Within the five-year gestation period of the TCOE project, we await success stories and manifest achievements that will stretch the limits of our expectations.

“The R&D as well the innovation flame has been ignited in Nigeria, thanks to our modest efforts, but the future of this initiative and the possibility of the R&D flame developing into a raging inferno that transforms the research landscape in Nigeria rest squarely on your shoulders.”

He said the workshop was to equip participants with requisite information, knowledge and skills in administering the centres. The executive secretary reassured the facilities of availability of funds to achieve their objectives.