The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, says its approvals for research grants will be doubled in 2021 from over 128 approvals made in 2020.
The Executive Secretary of TetFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, said the approvals will be announced as soon as the Board of Trustees gives its nod.
Bogoro spoke in Abuja while receiving a contingent of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPS, Kuru, Senior Executive Course 43, 2021, on Tuesday.
He disclosed that qualified institutions will draw a maximum of N50 million research grants from the N7.5 billion National Research Fund, NRF.
The TetFund boss said in the 2021 budget, which is awaiting approval, the agency will fund the establishment of more molecular labs and research on gene sequencing and phytogenic medicine, as well as vaccine research and production, as a key area for unraveling the lethal covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, under the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, the fund provided research intervention between N250 to N300 million, to set up, at least, a quarter of the molecular labs established in the country.
“We discovered that those facilities are helpful for both research and clinical purposes,” he added that the facilities will help sustain medical research in the country.
He also disclosed that funds were made available to some medical research institutes and colleges for the purpose of research.
Bogoro further noted that 90 per cent of lecturers in Nigerian universities currently have PhDs, stating that 9 years ago, only 40 per cent of university lecturers in the country had PhDs, and by 2015, over 60 per cent acquired PhDs.
He said more than 80 per cent of libraries in public tertiary institutions are TETFund-provided libraries.
He commended Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi for its ingenuity in formulating a system of tracking cattles that have been rustled; as well as Redeemers University for its advanced research on gene sequencing; and Covenant University for being ranked among the best universities in the world.
While speaking on NIPS, Bogoro said since the institute was carefully constituted in 1979, it has remained so with representation from the military, various ministries, and others, who are working on behalf of the country with a high sense of responsibility.
On inclusive education, The TetFund boss, decried the elites neglect of public institutions.
“Where education excludes any segment of the society, we are being unfair to that segment of our population. For some of us, at our age, who are privileged and controlling a number of things, we belonged to a segment of society that got education free of charge.
“A situation where public servants who benefited from the free education programme of the government now send their children to private schools abroad is unacceptable,” he said.
He urged NIPS and statutorily non-beneficiary institutions to use the window of partnership with beneficiary institutions and apply for research grants through them.
Earlier, the Acting Director-General of NIPS, Brig. Gen. Chukwuemeka Udaya, said the institute which is over 43 years has carefully served every government.
Udaya disclosed that in the year 2021, seven groups are visiting various institutions including TETFund which has been active in getting things done.
He further disclosed that the essence of visiting was to find out, deepen and further understand how TETFund has been able to get things done.
Source: Voice of Nigeria