The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, says the organization will fund Centers of Excellence for innovative research in the six geopolitical zones in the country.
Prof. Bogoro said two to three of such centers would be promoted with special funds allocation in each of the zones.
” This is to replicate ‘African Centers of Excellence being prompted by international agencies in order to encourage indigenous innovative research and learning activities,” he said.
The executive secretary said this at a meeting with management and the Governing Council of Usmanu Danfodio University Sokoto (UDUS) in Sokoto.
” TETFund is vigorously focused on supporting relevant Research and Development in tertiary institutions to fast track industrial growth toward enhancing productivity and human empowerment,” Bagore said.
He explained that the effort coincided with that of the National Universities Commission, using the Triple helix concept of innovation concept.
According to him, the two are twin concepts that refer to a set of interactions between academia, industry, and governments, to foster economic and social development.
Bogoro described good academic leadership as the backbone of success in all institutions while poor leadership negatively affects all professional progression and development.
”With the composition of academics in UDUS and others, Nigeria has no excuse, other than to rise and lead not only Africa but the world,” he said.
According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an N5 billion National Research Fund to stimulate progress in academia.
The executive secretary noted that emphasis would be geared towards the application of academic researches that would facilitate growth in various sectors.
”TETFund also provides N5 million intervention for producing journals with our scholars’ content targetted at addressing our immediate challenges.
” The past trend of low production and reliance on foreign ones is minimized and at present, more indigenous journals are visible and indexed.”
He said, ”Mutual dispute between academia and industries is among the bases that forced universities not to run appropriately.
” Research on problem-solving suitable to our Nigerian content and environmental growth is the best option to industrial development.
” Many Nigerian Universities are becoming stronger, competing with foreign universities in terms of quality research harvests and academic excellence.”
He added that TETFund had introduced drafting of concept notes before research proposals and out of 3,000 applications received, 415 were successful.
” This is the first time in history; in 2018 only 1, 800 applications were received and at present applicants have been communicated to provide full proposals with UDUS being among the high percentage institution.
“Intervention focus is more on innovative research to enrich content components than infrastructure development and funds may be doubled in the coming years,” Bagoro said.
He said that provision of the interdisciplinary laboratory was also in the pipeline to emulate other developed nations in promoting intellectual harmony and knowledge sharing.
He noted that poor accommodation for students constituted a challenge, as only 15 percent of Nigerian students were housed which discouraged foreign students to enroll.
According to him, TETFund is also considering high intervention in the area and commended Federal Government’s effort to bring in the Central Bank and other options.
Bogoro pledged to look into UDUS’s requests for the construction of new senate building and more learning infrastructure to argument students’ population and academic pursuits.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Lawal Bilbis, appreciated the ES’s visit and listed the institution’ s challenges, especially areas it needed urgent intervention.
Bagoro was led on an inspection of the Pharmaceutical Science Department, Urology and Nephrology center, where he watched live surgery via video conferencing conducted by experts led by Prof. Isma’la Mungadi. (NAN)