Private universities to benefit from TETFund research grant

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said it will involve non-state entities including private universities, research institutes and educational institutions for research purposes in the N7.5 billion research grant recently approved to it by the federal government.

This came as the Ministry of Science and Technology said it had begun collaboration with TETFund to ensure the country’s economy was driven by research and development.

A statement by TETFund spokesperson, Mrs Ngoba Briggs, stated that the Executive Secretary of Fund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro and the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Dr Mohammed Umar, both spoke at the inauguration of an Implementation Committee on the collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and TETFund in Abuja, recently.

According to the statement, Bogoro stated that for the National Research Fund (NRF) Grant which has been increased to N7.5 billion in 2020 from the N5 billion approved in 2019, TETFund has “made amendments to include non-state entities and also invite private research institutes and educational institutions for research purposes.”

Bogoro recalled the efforts of the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu towards the collaboration and expressed appreciation for his commitment and support.

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“The Executive Secretary also thanked the Permanent Secretary for his cooperation. He described the inauguration of the Implementation Committee as a paradigm shift between the Ministry and TETFund and reiterated the commitment of TETFund in collaborating with relevant agencies to making research a veritable instrument in national development,” the statement said.

“The 10-man committee which comprises officials from both the Ministry and TETFund was inaugurated as a follow-up to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between both parties in January 2020 to boost Research and Development (R&D) for the technological and overall economic development of the country.

Speaking during the inauguration, the Permanent Secretary, Dr Umar commended Bogoro, and his team for their support and commitment to the collaboration.

Umar stated that the partnership between the Ministry and TETFund is geared towards driving the Nigerian economy through Science and Technology with adequate funding because no country in the world could thrive without Science and Technology.

“The Permanent Secretary lamented that Nigeria used to be ahead of several countries such as India and South Korea in terms of technology, but that most of them have overtaken the country.

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“He, therefore, expressed confidence that the collaboration would foster the relationship between TETFund and research institutes to help accelerate the country’s technological and economic development,” it further read.

“Membership of the Committee includes the Director, R&D/Centres of Excellence of TETFund, Dr Salihu Girei Bakari and Director, Planning, Research and Policy, Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Ken Onwumbiko who will serve as Co-chairs.

“Others are Director, Renewable and Conventional Technology, Isa Buba; Special Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, Jamil Shehu Narwarai; Director, Science and Technology Promotion, Shu’aibu Alhaji Umaru and Director, Legal Services, Mrs Yvonne Odu-Thomas, all from the Ministry.

“Others from TETFund are Ag. Director, Education Support Services, Mr. Kolapo Okunlola; Ag. Director ICT, Mr. Joseph Odo; Head, Academic Staff Training and Development, Mohammed Sani Suleiman and Technical Assistant to the Executive Secretary on R&D Matters, Dr. Mustapha Popoola,” it further read.

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