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TETFund refutes alleged diversion of research grants by lecturers

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has refuted alleged diversion of research grants by some lecturers in Nigerian universities.

This was contained in a letter sent to the Managing Director of an online newspaper by Acting Director of Research and Development and Centres of Excellence (R&D/CE) of TETFund Dr. Salihu Bakari Girei, a copy of which was obtained by The Guardian.

The letter titled, “Re: Nigerian Lecturers Spend Research Grants on Cars, Houses,” sought to clarify the facts in a report published by the online portal in February, but which Bakare said was misleading as it misrepresented the facts.

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Bakari said the refutation was not about joining issues, but rather, it sought to put the issues in their proper perspective for members of the public and particularly TETFund stakeholders to be properly informed.

In view of the misrepresentations, he called on beneficiary institutions, stakeholders, the academic and the general public to disregard the report, which he described as “out-of-context, generalised, sensationalised, and misrepresented.”

He insisted that the reports on diversion of research grants by lecturers was false “because at no time, at the Workshop in Dubai or another location, did I mention that research grants were misapplied or diverted”.

Giving a background to the report, he recalled that his attention was drawn to the online publication of Tuesday, February 11, 2020 titled, “Nigerian Lecturers Spend Research Grants on Cars, Houses” which attributed the statement to TETFund’s Director of R&D/CE.

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He said because he occupies the position at TETFund in acting capacity, it became necessary for him to clarify that the Premium Times reporter who was at the conference misrepresented him completely, thereby potentially sowing discord among lecturers of public tertiary institutions, the academic community and TETFund.

“The report was a complete misrepresentation of what transpired at the workshop organised for directors of research of public universities and members of the TETFund National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring committee.

“It, is therefore, necessary for me to make this clarification in view of the adverse effect of the publicity to my organisation and my personal aversion to it,” he said.

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The main issue in the publication, he said, was whether or not the caption of the report was a true reflection of what was said at the workshop, saying, “The answer is NO. The issues were misrepresented.

“This is verifiable from the workshop proceedings and participants, including prominent members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), former and serving vice chancellors, deputy vice chancellors in charge of R&D and directors of research of federal and state universities.

“Premium Times also did a follow up story on February 14, 2020 which attempted to correct the impression created by the headlines of its initial story.”

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