By Adedapo Adesanya
Twelve universities have received allocation letters for the take-off of their Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Centre of Excellence (TCOE).
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Mr Suleiman Bogoro, while presenting the letters to the Vice-Chancellors of the selected institutions in Abuja.
He charged the institutions on the implementation of its own approved TCOE to address specific national development challenges by preparing professionals for the future.
He also disclosed that the board would fund the centres with a grant of N1 billion each for five years to enable them to attain national aspirations.
This followed approval by President Muhammadu Buhari earlier this year that will spur the first set of TCOE to take up research in their respective regions for national development.
He said two universities were selected from each geopolitical zone of the country to bridge the gap between researchers and users, as well as stimulating and strengthening triple-helix relationships.
In the South West, the University of Ibadan will host TCOE in Multi-Disciplinary Studies and the University of Lagos on TCOE in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management.
For the South East region, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike will host TCOE in Root Crop Research and Development and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka to host TCOE in Agricultural and Engineering Translational Studies.
Mr Bogoro also named the University of Benin to host TCOE in Aquaculture and Food Technology, while the University of Uyo will host TCOE in Computational Intelligence in South-South region.
Meanwhile, in the North Central, University of Abuja would host TCOE in Public Governance and Leadership and University of Jos to host TCOE in Food Security.
North East has Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, to host TCOE in Food Security and the University of Maiduguri will host TCOE in Arid Zone Research and Development.
He added that in North West, Usman Dan-Fodio University, Sokoto will host TCOE in Urology and Nephrology, while Bayero University, Kano will host TCOE in Renewable Energy.
According to him, the relevance of COEs for capacity building in developing countries cannot be overemphasised.
He said COEs were potent instruments for nation-building as far as they have the potential to realise human resource development.
He said “The conceptual framework for Centres of Excellence is unlikely to be unfamiliar, alien or even novel to most of you here. Nevertheless, a Strategic Framework and Establishment Guidelines for TETFund Centres of Excellence, as approved by the TETFund Board of Trustees will be made available to all of you.
“Each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through the preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partner, especially community services.
“Within that prism, institutions will have the autonomy to implement their own institution-specific proposals to enhance capacity to deliver national high-quality training to address development challenges.”
He said the major objective of establishing the Centres was among others, to support strategic and application-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial application.
Also, the chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees, Mr Kashim Ibrahim-Imam said the fund’s BOT was committed to advancing the tertiary education in all ramifications.
Ibrahim-Iman promised that the fund would continue to sustain the process of research in the country, noting that an additional 12 universities would be established by 2021.
He said, “We want you to invest at least 70 per cent of the research grant in safe and high-yielding financial investment.”
Responding on behalf of Vice-Chancellors of the benefiting universities, Prof. Lilian Salami, Vice-Chancellor, University of Benin, promised to live to expectations in delivering the task accorded to them.
ASR Africa Gives N1bn Grant to University of Benin
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) has awarded a N1 billion infrastructure grant to the University of Benin (UNIBEN) as part of its 2021 Tertiary Education Grants Scheme.
This was revealed during the grant presentation by ASR Africa management to the Vice-Chancellor and council members of the University of Benin on Wednesday.
With this grant, the University of Benin becomes the fifth Nigerian university to receive the gesture from the ASR Africa Tertiary Education Grants Scheme, which is funded by the ASR Africa Fund for Social Development and Renewal, which has a yearly budget of $100 million.
The University of Maiduguri, University of Ilorin, University of Ibadan, and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria are among the previous 2021 grant recipients.
During the presentation, Mr Ubon Udoh, Managing Director of ASR Africa, praised the university administration for their dedication to ensuring the highest tertiary education standards at the University of Benin.
He further said UNIBEN was chosen for the ASR Africa Tertiary Education Grant based on a number of criteria, including ranking, student population, gender inclusivity and others.
The ASR Africa Initiative, which is the brainchild of industrialist and philanthropist, Mr Abdul Samad Rabiu, was set up with an annual pledge of $100 million dedicated to health, education and social development issues within the African continent.
Out of this, Nigeria will benefit $50 million yearly and the rest of Africa, $50 million, in what is the largest private philanthropic giving of its kind by an individual in Africa.
Agbowó Rejigs Pioneering Editorial Leadership
By Adedapo Adesanya
A literary journal, Agbowó, has announced changes in its editorial leadership following the completion of their respective tenures.
In a press release seen by Business Post, the publication said the trio of Kunle Adebajo, Olu Afolabi, and Moyosore Orimoloye have completed their tenures as the non-fiction editor, poetry editor, and editor-in-chief, respectively.
It was revealed that the new occupants of the vacant seats will be announced soon.
“We hereby announce the following changes in the editorial leadership at Agbowó – Kunle Adebajo, Olu Afolabi, and Moyosore Orimoloye have completed their tenures as Non-fiction editor, Poetry editor, and Editor-in-chief, respectively.
“Being foundational members of the Agbowó team, all three members have been valuable to our growth over the past few years. For this, we are immensely grateful for their sacrifice and service,” a part of the statement exclusively made available to this newspaper stated.
According to the statement, “Moyo Orimoloye has led the editorial team since the magazine’s inception. His leadership has been a guiding light in Agbowó’s quest to expand its reach within the African continent while constantly improving its editorial standards. It has been a pleasure.
“A journalist par excellence, Kunle Adebajo brought the same attention to detail and intensity that characterizes his work.
“If you have enjoyed any piece of non-fiction published on Agbowó over the past four years, you have probably met him. Thank you Kunle.
“Olu Afolabi, also a founding editor, has marshalled the poetry editorial desk at Agbowó these last 4 years.
“An amazing poet himself, his keen eye for lively and innovative verse has ensured a constant stream of exceptional poetry flowing through the gates of Agbowó.
“We thank you for your service, Olu and we are rooting for you,” the statement added.
Agbowó, the literary journal, is an off-shoot of the UITES WRITE collective. UITES WRITE, founded by Habeeb Kolade and Dolapo Amusat in 2015, is a platform to showcase literary work by University of Ibadan students and alumni.
With an expanding vision, the founding editorial team decided to carve out a literary magazine and in the process, opened it up to Africa and, thus, Agbowó was born.
Recently, the magazine released the fourth issue of the annual magazine installation themed Chaos. It can be accessed here.
Wushishi Promises to Transform NECO
By Adedapo Adesanya
The new Registrar/Chief Executive of the National Examinations Council (NECO), Mr Ibrahim Wushishi, has promised to transform the examination body to world-class status.
Mr Wushishi promised to transform NECO in Minna when he officially took over the affairs of the council from the former Acting Registrar, Mr Ebikibina Ogborodi, according to a statement signed by Mr Azeez Sani, Head, Information and Public Relations Division of NECO.
He promised that the national examination body is fully set to become a credible and internationally acclaimed examination body.
“My desire is to make NECO surpass international standards which other international examination bodies will look onto, that is my mission to NECO,” Mr Wushishi said.
According to the NECO boss, “I am not here to be biased in any way, rather I am here as a Nigerian, I will work with everybody to take NECO to the desired heights”.
He acknowledged that there are challenges that need to be tackled in the exam body and assured that with the support of all staff, the challenges will be surmounted.
Mr Wushishi also informed staff members that their rewards and privileges would be given to them as at when due, but stressed that the management under his leadership would not hesitate to punish any staff found wanting in the discharge of duties.
He solicited the support of the management and staff to enable him to actualise his vision for the Council.
The registrar, who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for deeming him fit to be appointed as NECO Registrar, pledged to work closely with the Federal Ministry of Education and NECO Governing Board.
On his part, the departing Acting Registrar, Mr Ebikibina Ogborodi had briefed the new NECO boss on the progress report on the ongoing 2021 Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE) as well as other mandates of the Council.
President Muhammadu Buhari had on July 12 appointed Mr Wushishi as the substantive Registrar of NECO.
The Professor of Science Education was born on April 5, 1965, and hailed from Wushishi Local Government Area of Niger State.
He was a lecturer in the Faculty of Education, Usmanu Danfodio University, Sokoto, before joining the Federal University of Technology (FUT) Minna.
Mr Wushishi has held other positions including Post Graduate Coordinator, Department of Science Education, FUT, Minna; Sub-Dean School of Science and Science Education, FUT, Minna.
Others were Head of Department, Science Education, FUT Minna; Head of Department, Science Education, Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida University, Lapai.
Until the appointment, he was a Professor of Chemistry at the Federal University of Technology, Minna.
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