President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the sum of N8.5 billion for the conduct of ground-breaking research in medicine and other areas in 2021under the National Research Fund, NRF, scheme funded by the Tertiary Education Trust, (TETFund ).
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, disclosed this on Wednesday in Abuja at a workshop for directors of research and development of public universities in Nigeria.
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Bogoro said he made a case to the board of trustees to increase the NRF research grant, from an initial seed sum of N3 billion it exhausted and N1 billion was added between 2016 and 2019.
“But when I came, I decided to revolutionise it and I said it is not a question of seed money let it be annual money. And that is why I made a case for N5 billion in 2019 alone. 2020 we raised it to N7.5 billion.
“This year Mr. President has approved another N7.5 billon but with additional N1 billion we intend to do ground breaking research around medicine even in respect of the Covid-19 challenge,” he said.
Bogoro however decried the failure of research institutes to have the appetite to establish a good relationship with universities for the purpose of promoting research and development, stating that universities are also guilty of disregarding them.
Earlier, TETFund’s Director of Research and Development, Dr Salisu Bakare, noted that universities are by nature problem-solvers, adding that when they are not solving problems of the society, the question remains whether they are achieving their mandates.