President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an increase in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund National Research Fund from 3.5 billion naira to 7.5 billion naira for the year 2020.
TETFund Executive Secretary Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this at the 2020 TETFund Board of Trustees Retreat in Abuja, said the approval made the agency the largest holder of research grants in Nigeria.
Bogoro said Buhari also approved the establishment of six medical simulation research and clinical training facilities in six colleges of medicine in each geopolitical zone within the year. He said the approval provided an opportunity for the TETFund to provide 12 COVID-19 and
related infectious diseases molecular laboratories, two in each geopolitical zone, “making the Fund the highest single provider of COVID-19 test centres in Nigeria”. He added “the BOT also approved that TETFund sponsors some COVID-19 Research proposals to the tune of over 200 million naira, mainly from Universities and NAFDAC, this being one of the reasons TETFund has recently been made the secretariat for the Nigeria Covid-19 Research
Consortium.” Also speaking during the retreat, the new TETFund BOT Chairman, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim- Imam highlighted some of the key achievements of the Fund between 2016 and 2019.
He stated that that TETFund had within this period funded 80 auditorium lecture theatres, 500 classrooms, 2383 administrative and staff offices and 250 science laboratories across beneficiary institutions in the country.
Also funded were 40 fully equipped libraries, 38 ICT centres, 8medical centres and bays, 100 vehicles for academic field research trips and provision of major infrastructure in the 12 newly established federal universities. Alhaji Ibrahim-Imam stated that to further consolidate on TETFund’s achievements, the Fund has made provision in its 2020 Budget for emergency special intervention to the University of Abuja and special high impact projects to six universities, one from each geo-political zone.
He also noted that the agency will also provide take–off grants to the six newly created federal polytechnics and six colleges of education in each geo-political zone among other projects.
The BOT Chairman expressed the determination of the Board to build on what has been achieved at TETFund and improve the management of the Fund’s interventions in public tertiary institutions in the country. “We will seek increase in both revenue collection and return on investment of the fund. We will scale up the provision of fit-for purpose infrastructure, result-oriented research, and cutting-edge technology to our tertiary institutions. And we will do all these with utmost integrity,” he said.