Nigerian government inaugurates 21-member committee on research fund

Temitope Mustapha, Abuja

The Nigerian government has inaugurated a 21-member Committee to preside over the implementation of the 2017 Tertiary Education Trust Fund National Research Fund.

Inaugurating the Committee in Abuja, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, said that the National Research Fund is a deliberate intervention to promote the evolution of a knowledge based, globally- competitive, research and development driven socio-economic  process in Nigeria.

Dr Baffa also said that the Research fund was introduced to help resuscitate research activities in the nation’s public tertiary institutions.

He stressed that only coordinated and edge cutting researches in critical areas can lead Nigeria to being a knowledge based economy.

“The National Research Fund was introduced to help resuscitate research activities in the nation’s public tertiary institutions so as to support scholars meet up with the requirement of their calling, which is teaching, research and community service,” the Executive Secretary said.

“Conducting quality research in our public tertiary institutions will not only engender national growth but will also raise the standard and the global competitiveness of Nigeria’s education system,” Dr Baffa added.

He stated that since the establishment of the NRF in 2009 with a seed fund of 3bn naira for research, about N1.72b have so far been disbursed to finance researches in different thematic areas.

The TETFund Boss hinted that an additional N1bn was allocated in 2016 to increase the research intervention fund.

“One key concerns of TETfund in respect of the implementation of this intervention is quality of research proposals that are being submitted by applicants,” he said.

Dr Bichi also said that membership of the committee have been reduced from over 80 members to 21 members which consists of 6 Vice chancellors, 3 rectors, 3 provosts which represents NUC, NBTE and NCCE. There is also each representative from ASUU, ASUP, COEASU, Director from the Tetfund office, Director education support services of Tetfund and a chairman.

The TETFund Chairman, Prof. Olugbemi Bamiro, said that Tertiary Institutions shoulders the responsibilities for each research adding that if meaningful researches are carried out on the thematic areas, Nigerian economy will be transformed.

Prof. Bamiro appealed to committee members to accept the task as a national assignment, emphasising that being a committee member is an important task .

The Fund divides the critical discipline into three categories with a total of 20 thematic areas. National intetegration, National security and peace studies, Education and training, Economic development, Social welfare, Population studies, Tourism, Agriculture, Power and other areas.

Tetfund also inaugurated Technical Advisory Group, TAG on Higher Education Book Development to address issues of the dearth of indigenous high quality reading and learning materials in Nigeria educational Institutions.