THE Federal Government has approved the disbursement of N292.66bn to some public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education across the country.
The fund will be disbursed through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, said the fund would be given to higher institutions in each of the six geo-political zones.
He explained that at least, one university from each of the six- geo-political zones would receive N906.8m while about N628.4m would go to one polytechnic and one college of education.
Bogoro made the announcement while welcoming heads of beneficiary institutions to a one-day stakeholders’ meeting at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Conference Centre in Abuja.
He noted that there was a need to complete the national headquarters of National Library of Nigeria, which he said the Federal Government had handed over to the fund.
He stated that the library project represented an important national asset that should not be ignored due to funding challenges.
Bogoro also stressed the essence of research to national development, adding that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had been consistent in approving funds to see that academics produce quality researches that would address emerging challenges bedeviling the country.
He said this accounted for the setting up of the National Research Fund, which has increased from N3bn to N8.5bn in recent times.
Bogoro said he was delighted that Nigeria was moving closer to having a National Research and Development Foundation, urged academics in the country to turn around the fortunes of the country through cutting-edge researches.
“Let us apply our innovative research outcomes to solve the security problems. Let us bring back value addition to the solid minerals that we are blessed with. It is the goldmine we have not explored to any significant level,” he said.
On the 2021 research grants to lecturers, Bogoro advised the nation’s academics to live up to expectations by producing good proposals.
He said TETFund was ready to finance such academic exercises.
“I have signed the letters of allocation for the research grants that we are issuing out – 217 of them. This is the highest research grant ever. It has never gone beyond 200. We have 217 research grants that have recently been approved,” he added.
On the recent special allocations by TETFund’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Bogoro said N5bn each was approved for the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria for massive infrastructural projects development.
He said N1bn was also approved for the completion of special intervention projects at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State and another N1 billion for Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo.
According to him, more tertiary institutions will benefit from the special allocations soon.
Bogoro said TETFund was also providing support to boost research activities in Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), among others, to address the nation’s security challenges.
On the fund’s intervention in the Health sector, the agency boss noted that TETFund had provided N1bn to one university each in the six geo-political zones for medical research.
According to him, TETFund has also provided facilities for the treatment of major ailments.