UNILAG, 11 Others Get TETFund Allocations for Research


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.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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