By Adedapo Adesanya
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) has made amendments to include private research institutes, non-state entities and educational institutions in the N7.5 billion National Research Fund (NRF) Grant set aside for research purposes.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the fund, Mr Elias Bogoro, in Abuja during the inauguration of the implementation committee on the collaboration between the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology and Tertiary Education Trust Fund.
He said TETFund was going to continue collaborating with relevant agencies to make research a veritable instrument in national development.
According to him, with 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.
The TETFUND boss recalled the efforts of the Minister of Science and Technology, Mr Ogbonnaya Onu, towards the collaboration and expressed appreciation for his commitment and support.
The 10-man committee inaugurated comprises officials from both the ministry and TETFund 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.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund alongside the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr Mohammed Bello Umar inaugurated the committee.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Science and technology, Mr Mohammed Bello Umar, stated that the partnership between the Ministry and TETFund is geared towards driving the Nigerian economy through Science and Technology with adequate funding.
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.
He expressed confidence that the collaboration would foster the relationship between TETFund and research institutes to help accelerate the country’s technological and economic development.
Membership of the committee includes the Director, R&D/Centres of Excellence of TETFund, Mr 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, Mr Isa Buba; Special Adviser to the Permanent Secretary, Mr Jamil Shehu Narwarai; Director, Science and Technology Promotion, Mr Shu’aibu Umaru and Director, Legal Services, Mrs Yvonne Odu-Thomas, all from the Ministry.
Others from TETFund are Acting Director, Education Support Services, Mr Kolapo Okunlola; Actin 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, Mr Mustapha Popoola.
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