"The Burden Of Research Lies On The Shoulder Of Tertiary Institutions" - NOUN VC

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…….. Boosts research with N1.72b

By Winifred Ogbebo,

The Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa has said that conducting quality research in the nation’s public tertiary institutions will not only engender national growth but will also raise the standard and the global competitiveness of Nigeria’s education system.

This is even as he disclosed that since the inception of the fund, with the seed fund of N3 billion, about N1.72billion has been disbursed to finance researchers in different areas.

The TETFund boss disclosed this Thursday,  in Abuja while inaugurating two committees, the National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRF&MC) and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Book Development.

He maintained that to achieve research and development driven socio economic process in the country, a coordinated, properly focused and cutting edge researchers in all critical areas are required to be anchored by scholars in the higher education institutions.  

While urging the committees to help in accelerating Nigeria’s journey to building a strong and responsive knowledge economy, he noted that the chairmen and members of the committees consist of wide range professionals drawn from the academia and some relevant parastatals under the Ministry of Education.

 Baffa who noted that additional N1billion was allocated in 2016 to beef up the intervention, said one of the concerns of the fund in respect of the implementation of the intervention is a quality of research proposals that are being submitted by applicants.

He further said the sum of N2 billion seed grant was dedicated for lecturers in various public tertiary institutions to assess for the development of manuscript into books.

The National Research Fund (NRF), according to him, was introduced to resuscitate research activities in the national public tertiary institutions to support scholars meet up with the requirement teaching, research and community service.

However, the MRF&MC committee will be chaired by the Vice Chancellor of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Prof Abdalla Adamu, while the TAG committee will be chaired by former Vice Chancellor of University of Ibadan, Prof Olufemi  Bamiro.

In his acceptance speech, Prof Adamu commended the initiative saying African scholars have been left below as thousands of researchers are left in the library.

He said this is an opportunity for them to contribute to global best practices and to ensure that they are also uploading and not downloading researchers from the western world.

 “If you are talking of knowledge economy, what drives it is research. If research is to translate into development, it cannot just be publications. It has to be research, development, and innovations,” he said.

“The burden of research lies on the shoulder of tertiary institutions. Funding research started around 2009 but we must also not forget that prior to the research was probably nothing to think about in tertiary institutions.

“Only three institutions were lucky to attract foreign grants. I’m speaking for the University of Ibadan, you found out that most of the grants for meaningful research in the system were from WHO and so on. We used to have senate research grant in the university but when the Vice Chancellor cannot even pay salary, how can he get money for allocation of research until TETfund came with that N3billion.”

“But when we started calling for proposals, initially we got less than 100 from out of the system; whether universities, polytechnics or colleges of education, and out of the 100 we found less than 10 fundable.

“But I must say that by the time institutions started taking proposal writing seriously, we saw significant improvement. By 2015 we received 817 proposals from the system. Then in 2016, we received 1,846 proposals, which meant that the Nigerian higher education system was now ready for research.”

Source: Leadership.ng

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