BY HENRY TYOHEMBA, Abuja
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has disclosed that its approvals for research grants will be doubled in 2021, from over 128 approvals made in 2020.
Executive secretary of the board, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, stated this in Abuja yesterday, while receiving a contingent of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPS) Kuru, Senior Executive Course 43, 202.
He said the approvals would be announced as soon as the Board of Trustees gives its nod, adding that qualified institutions will draw a maximum of N50 million research grants from the N7.5 billion National Research Fund, NRF.
Bogoro also said in the 2021 budget, which is awaiting approval, the agency will fund the establishment of more molecular labs and research on gene sequencing and phytogenic medicine, as well as vaccine research and production, as a key area of unraveling the lethal covid-19 pandemic.
According to him, under the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, the fund provided research intervention between N250 to N300 million, to set up, at least, a quarter of the molecular labs established in the country.
“We discovered that those facilities are helpful for both research and clinical purposes,” he said, adding that the facilities will help sustain medical research in the country.
He also disclosed that funds were made available to some medical research institutes and colleges for the purpose of research.
Bogoro also noted that 90 per cent of lecturers in Nigerian universities currently have PhDs, stating that 9 years ago, only 40 per cent of university lecturers in the country had PhDs, and by 2015, over 60 per cent acquired PhDs.
According to him, more than 80 per cent of libraries in public tertiary institutions are TETFund-provided libraries.
Meanwhile, Bogoro was yesterday, honoured with an award of excellence from the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB).
The award was presented to the TETFund boss during a two-day workshop on strict compliance with asset declaration and Code of Conduct for public officers, organised by the Bureau in collaboration with Transmission Company of Nigeria.
Presenting the award of honour to Bogoro, the Bureau’s chairman, Professor Isa Muhammed, represented by Professor Samuel Ogundare, said the workshop was to interact on the issue of code of conduct in Nigeria.
Ogundare said, “It is to specify the standard of integrity and conduct that is expected of public officers. The second thing in mind is to help public officers in Nigeria to meet these standard and to also inform the public what they should expect from public officers.
“The issue is Code of Conduct is becoming critical because public officers are now entrusted with public resources so they are being monitored,” he added.
Presenting a topic on service ethics and problems of noncompliance among public officers, Dr Sebastine Gwimi, director intelligence investigation and monitoring, stressed the need for demonstrable political commitment of the highest political level, which is critical for successful promotion of durable sound ethical figures.
The award was received on behalf of Bogoro by the director of finance and investment, TETFund, Alhaji Idris Saudi.