TETFund: Buhari approves N8 billion for ‘groundbreaking’ research

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Suleiman Bogoro, Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s executive secretary, says President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N8.5 billion for Nigerian universities to carry out “groundbreaking” research in medicine and other areas under the National Research Fund (NRF) scheme.

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Mr Bogoro disclosed this at a three-day workshop for research and development directors of public universities in Nigeria on Wednesday in Abuja.

“With your support, I made a case to the board of trustees to increase the NRF research grants. Initially, we had a seed money of N3 billion, which got exhausted, and N1 billion was added between 2016 and 2019,” said Mr Bogoro. “When I came, I decided to revolutionise it, and I said it is not a question of seed money, let it be annual money, and that is why I made a case for N5 billion in 2019 alone and in 2020, we raised it to N7.5 billion.”

This year, however, Mr Buhari “approved another N7.5 billion but, guess what, with additional N1 billion that we intend to use for groundbreaking research around medicine even in respect of the COVID-19 challenge,” he added.

Mr Bogoro explained that part of the plans was to release some money to the Nigerian Medical Research Institute (NMIR) to resuscitate its vaccine production.

He disclosed that a meeting had been scheduled with the NMIR director-general, Babatunde Salako and professors of medicine from universities across the country.

He also called on research institutes to establish a good working relationship with universities for enhanced research and development, stressing collaboration for better results.

According to him, there is a need for collaboration between universities and research institutes to offer assistance where necessary.

In his remarks, TETFund director of Research and Development, Salisu Bakare, said it was important for universities to live up to the mandate of problem-solving.

He reaffirmed Nigeria’s need to transition to a knowledge economy, stating that the Research and Development Centre of Excellence in TETFund, established for the purpose, will continue to work to achieve its mandate.

Mr Bakare said that to achieve the mandate, the fund had established centres of excellence in several universities.

Source: People’s Gazette.

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