TETFund Expends N23bn On Research

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Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has spent over N23 billion on funding research across Nigeria.
Its assistant director of research and development (R&D), Dr Hadiza Ismail, disclosed this at a validation workshop on “Strengthening Research and Innovation Funding Agencies in West Africa,” which was held at the Fund's headquarters in Abuja yesterday.
Hadiza Ismail, who represented the director of TETFund's R&D at the event, said the agency was fully committed to the establishment of a Science Granting Council in Nigeria.

While saying TETFund has continued to financially support research through the National Research Fund, she stated that the Fund was also working hard to ensure that research outputs are linked to industry to bring about the desired development.
“So far, the Fund has spent over N23 billion on about 912 research projects that have been sponsored.

“But that also gives us an insight into the need for this workshop and what we are actually talking about. Despite the fact that we have given grants to over 900 projects, we want to see how we can link these research projects to industry and get viable outcomes at the end of the day to help Nigeria move forward,” she said.
On his part, the executive director, African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network, Nicholas Ozor, said the workshop was aimed at giving momentum to a project designed to strengthen national research councils in six West African countries.


He, however, expressed concerns about the non-existence of a national research and innovation funding agency in Nigeria, saying the absence has denied the country the ability to attract foreign grants for research.
He said, “Nigeria specifically has an issue currently because they do not yet have a well-recognized national research and innovation funding agency, and that is part of why we are here.

“To work with appropriate agencies and stakeholders within the science and innovation ecosystem to see how we can establish a functional science and innovation funding agency in Nigeria, because other countries in Africa, especially Sub-Saharan Africa, already have these councils functional, and because of that, they are able to receive funding from agencies across the world to support research and development.”

Also, the president of African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, Peter Onwualu, who harped on the importance of innovation in bringing about development, said the workshop was expected to in a functional science granting council in Nigeria.
“We know that in this country, we need the results of science and technology, which usually translate into innovation.
“Innovation that can produce goods and services to make sure our economy runs well, but we have to have a good institutional framework for doing research in Nigeria, and that is all this project is about,” he said.

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