The Tertiary Education Trust Fund TETFUND says it is working towards the establishment of a National Research and Development Foundation NRDF forbthe socioeconomic and technological advancement of the country.
At the backdrop of this, the composition of a Committee comprising officials from the ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture as well as Science and technology to produce an executive bill to push for legislation is underway.
The Executive Secretary of the Fund Professor Suleiman Bogoro stated this at the North East Zonal meeting on National Research Fund NRF held at Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi.
Professor Suleiman Bogoro who said developed countries transformed their economies through the implementation of knowledge-based policies, called on tertiary institutions to spherehead the development of cutting edge researchers.
“We are hoping by the way that if it comes to being, the National Research and Development Foundation will be the biggest funding basket for research in Nigeria, he stated”.
He said from inception to date, tertiary institutions from the North East received a figure just above three hundred million naira out of six billion NRF grant which represents a mere four point five percent of the total seed fund.
“a number of research grant proposals failed scrutiny because they are of poor standard ab initio, we need to improve on that if we want to, with TETFUND now every year increasing the threshold of research. If there are no research proposals that are fundable, that is a disappointment and we couldn’t allow that”, He disclosed.
On the inclusion of Private tertiary institutions in the NRF fund disbursement, the Executive Secretary said they only come in as tire two beneficiaries to access about fifty percent of a research grant.
“they are not the principal investigators, they are the second partners but they can as well get upto about fifty percent of the fund, it could even be slightly more depending on the arrangement of the partnership”, he added,
In a paper titled “accessing the National Research Fund Grant with particular focus on North East geopolitical zone”, the Director research and development center TETFUND Dr Salihu Bakari Gerei said benefitting institutions must improve the quality of their research proposals in other to benefit more.
Dr Salihu Girei identified poor research culture, poor team composition, lack of support from host institution and poor project impact details as part of reasons for low access of the grants by institutions in the sub region.
Speaking on behalf of Heads of Tertiary Institutions from the northeast, the Vice Chancellor Federal University Kashere Professor Umar Pate who said TETFUND is redefining the future of the country through research and capacity building, expressed commitment towards realising the objectives of the meeting.
He responded that “the north east is in dire need of research and therefore the ES Sir, we cannot continue to fail you and fail ourselves, wecare given you our commitment on behalf of all the institution, we shall also go back-put our acts in order and see how we can also be mentioned positively in the next circle of NRF”.
The meeting had in attendance Vice Chancellors, Rectors, Provosts and Directors of Research and Development of all TETFUND beneficiary institutions in the geopolitical zone.
Abubakar Baba Ahmad