According to Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who is the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), he disclosed that funds for National Research have been increased from N5 billion to N7.5 billion in the 2020 budget to boost the academic research activities in Nigerian Universities.
Bogoro disclosed this while addressing the Senate of the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, on Tuesday at the Gubi campus, at the instance of the Vice-Chancellor Professor Muhammad Abdulaziz.
He explained that the increase in the funds for national research was informed by TETFUND’s new focus on the content components in tertiary institutions.
He stated that while successes ha been recorded in the area of provision of infrastructure in tertiary institutions all over the country, TETFUND will now focus more attention on research activities to facilitate economic growth.
“Since my return, one of the things l took to my Board of Trustees was yes we will improve on infrastructure but we will focus more on the content, research, academic staff development, book and manuscript development, journal publications, library development,” he said.
“In 2004 I introduced to research and development But this can succeed if there is an effective partnership between academics and the industry”
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The TETFUND Executive secretary disclosed that he signed 128 National Research grants in some Nigerian universities and observed disturbing disparity with the University of Lagos having 14, Bayero University Kano Lago having 11 respectively.
He lamented that Universities in the northeast region came short of accessing grants for research as only ATBU, Bauchi (two) and University of Maiduguri (one) accessed grants respectively.
He, therefore, challenged universities in the northeast to multiply the number of their research grants saying this can only be done with proper academic leadership among professors and their students.
“People should not undertake research for the sake of certifications or promotion alone but research should be tailored to solve problems and meet the needs of the international community. It will not take miracles for the situation to change overnight. We need to change our attitude. The competitiveness of economic powers is based on research products,” he said.
Earlier while welcoming the TETFUND scribe, the ATBU VC Professor Muhammad Abdulaziz, said he was delighted to invite Professor Bogoo to commission the varsity projects.
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Professor Abdulaziz outlined the projects to include Central Laboratory, College of Medicine Complex, at the Gubi Campus of the institutions. Other TETFUND projects commissioned by Bogoro whom the VC described as the initiator, was the Centre for Science, Technology, Entrepreneurship Development at the Tafawa Balewa campus in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
The projects, the Vice-Chancellor disclosed, were worth N4.9 billion, saying the impact of the project on the rating of the University is immeasurable.
He also suggested that TETFUND should consider maintaining the facilities other than their own in tertiary institutions, stressing that the exclusion of the Fund’ road network within the institutions should be revisited.