By Maryam Abeeb
The Board of Trustees of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund has approved an increase of the national research fund from N7.5 billion to the tune of N8.5 billion in 2021.
The organization also announced a total of N5 billion in special interventions to the University of Lagos to be captured in the 2021 budget.
The Chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees, Alhaji Kashim Imam, said these in Abuja during a two-day capacity-building workshop for heads of beneficiary institutions and staff of TETFund centres of excellence.
According to him, the intervention for UNILAG which was on the orders of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), was also carried out in the University of Abuja in 2020.
He stressed the importance of research as a prerequisite for national development, adding that no nation can develop without research.
Speaking on the academic development programme of the fund, Imam warned that if the country funded infrastructure without research and scholarships, the institutions would only be half-fulfilled.
He announced that TETFund would add another 12 centres of excellence next year and allocate N1billion to each.
“Six state Universities and six polytechnics will be added to the centres of excellence next year, and 70 per cent of the funds will be for research funding,” he said.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said, “Within the five-year gestation period of the TCOE Project, we await success stories and manifest achievements that will stretch the limits of our expectations.
“The R&D and innovation flame has been ignited in Nigeria, thanks to our modest efforts, but the future of this initiative and the possibility of the R&D flame developing into a raging inferno that transforms the research landscape in Nigeria rests squarely on your shoulders”, he stated.