TETFund urges Federal Government to increase research funding

TETFund has asked the government to increase its research fund
Ernest Sunday

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has urged the Federal Government to increase its annual funding for Research and Development (R&D) to 1 billion dollars.

The request to increase the fund was made by the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro on Thursday during the inauguration of TETFund’s R&D Standing Committee in Abuja.

Research funding is not enough

While lauding President Muhammadu Buhari for the recent increase of the research grant from N5 billion to N7.5 billion Bogoro said that the fund for research and development still needs to be increased as it will help in the development of the country.

Bogoro likened the current fund to a drop of water in use for millions of people and predicted that the number would surpass the fund further in years to come.

Education sectors need to unify towards one goal

He also added that the private sector should work in the same direction with the government to bring development to the country.

“To galvanize our vision towards making R&D the ace and game-changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation (NRDF) cannot be overstated, " he dais.

“We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of 1billion dollars as the funding portfolio for this Foundation.

“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean-population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years from now."

” It is envisaged that the private sector of the economy should pick the gauntlet to steamroll the lofty initiative by taking ownership of it."

The Minister of State for Education, Hon. Chukuemeka Nwajuiba who represented the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, urged members of the TETFund committee to put in hard work to make sure development is attained in Nigeria.

“Nigeria voted us into power predicated on our being able to transform our national aspirations and make them a national achievement.

“It is in recognition of this direction that the Executive Secretary, TETFund, presented his vision of a research-driven nation and how to finance that ambition through the Board of Trustees (BOT)

“To a large extent, Nigeria’s future depends on you. You have been summoned to a national service that is not available to the rest of the 200 million population. It is a national calling that requires almost all of you,” he said.

Negligence - A Call for a commitment from the Government

Speaking about the fund Hon. Ikenna Elezieanya who represented the chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Hon. Aminu Suleiman said that the research is a way of increasing development in the country, and the government should look into it.

“Research is the gateway to innovation. "It is sad that while countries like the USA, Korea and the like have been investing in research and development, we seem to show less concern, " he said.

The Chairman of the TETFund’s R & D Committee, Prof. Njidda M. Gadzama, has vowed to make sure that their assignment as TETFund is carried out to bring development in the country.“We promise to carry out our assignment with commitment and diligence, and this will result in the R & D Culture and R&D Foundation to drive the industrialization of the country,” he said.

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