TETFund Invests Over N23 Billion in Research Excellence in Nigeria

Nigeria's Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has made substantial investments totalling over N23 billion, equivalent to $16.2 million, towards fostering research excellence across the country. This significant disclosure came to light during a validation workshop titled "Strengthening Research and Innovation Funding Agencies in West Africa," held in Abuja.

Representing TETFund's Research and Development (R&D) division, Dr Hadiza Ismail reaffirmed the agency's unwavering commitment to nurturing a culture of innovation. Dr Ismail highlighted TETFund's crucial role in providing financial support for research endeavours, notably through initiatives like the National Research Fund. She emphasized the agency's dedication to bridging the gap between research outputs and industry applications, thereby catalyzing tangible socio-economic development.

"Our investment of over N23 billion has fueled approximately 912 research projects across Nigeria. However, our vision extends beyond mere funding; we are steadfast in our pursuit to align research outcomes with industrial needs, thereby driving meaningful progress for the nation," remarked Dr. Ismail.

Professor Nicholas Ozor, Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies (ATPS) Network, raised concerns over the absence of a dedicated national research and innovation funding agency in Nigeria. He emphasized the adverse implications of this gap on the country's ability to attract foreign grants for research initiatives.

Addressing workshop participants, Professor Peter Onwualu, President of the African University of Science and Technology (AUST), Abuja, stressed the transformative potential of innovation in advancing Nigeria's developmental agenda. He underscored the urgency of establishing a robust institutional framework to support research and innovation across diverse sectors.

"Innovation serves as a cornerstone for sustainable economic growth, and a functional science granting council is imperative to finance research endeavours across all sectors. This workshop signifies a crucial step towards establishing such a council, capable of effectively funding research in universities, polytechnics, research institutes, private sector entities, SMEs, and even the informal sector," asserted Professor Onwualu.

The workshop, aimed at providing impetus to initiatives aimed at strengthening research and innovation funding agencies in West Africa, facilitated discussions on strategies to bolster research ecosystems, enhance academia-industry collaboration, and foster innovation-driven development across the region.


Article by RB Correspodent