The executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof Suleiman Bogoro, has said the fund has executed over152, 838 infrastructural projects in public universities and other beneficiary institutions in the last 10 years.
Bogoro, who disclosed this in Abuja yesterday during TETFund’s 10th anniversary celebration, said the projects included lecture theatres, classrooms, hostels, offices, road networks, laboratories and fencing in some institutions across the country.
He said the fund has also sponsored about 30,000 lecturers for Masters and Doctorate degree programmes in both local and foreign institutions.
He said part of efforts to boost human capacity in the beneficiary institutions, over 68,000 academic and non-academic staff of public tertiary institutions have been sponsored by TETFund to attend local and foreign conferences, while stressing that the Fund equally supported over 71,263 lecturers under its teachers’ supervision programme among other achievements.
“So far, the Fund has procured over 2,080,041 books for use in the libraries, 152,844 E-Resources and 380,778 equipment and furniture distributed across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria,” he said.
Bogoro disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari had approved that TETFund complete the National Library which, he said symbolised institutional repository of knowledge and research globally.
On research, Bogoro said 2011, the fund launched the national research fund with a seed fund of N3 billion as take-off grant to support cutting edge research in areas of critical national need and development.
He said in 2015, N1 billion was added, while N5 billion annual allocation was approved for 2019.
He said in 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved additional 50 per cent increase in allocation to the NRF, making it N7.5billion for that year and N8.5billion in 2021. “So far, a total sum of N9billion has been accessed by lecturers to finance their research activities. “A total of 457 research projects have been approved across the country, some have been completed while some are still ongoing.
“The Fund also allocates funds on an annual basis to support Academic Research Journals and institution based research for research projects not more than N2 million per project.
“So far, about 2,175 projects have been approved for Institution Based Research and 342 Academic Research Journal projects were undertaken between 2011 and 2021,” he said.
The executive secretary also disclosed that TETFund had been playing significant role in Covid 19 Research in the country and drug development in general.
He commended the chairman of TETFund board of trustees, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam for approving four mega research clusters. He said the clusters had with funds ranging from N250 million to N450 million in response to COVID-19 Vaccines and Drug Research, Security/Defense and Dairy Research and development in the 2021 budget.
Bogoro assured that the fund would continuously contribute positively to making public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria truly globally competitive.
Also, represented by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Education of Arch Sonny Echono, the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, commended the fund for the solid foundation that successful leaderships have been able to lay, while reiterating the ministry’s continued support to the Fund.
Earlier, Kebbi State governor, Senator Abubakar Bagudu commended the fund for making good use of its funds over the years. He reiterated the need for greater funding in the education sector.