The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro has commissioned four major projects at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi worth about N5 billion.
The four projects fully funded by TETFund include the Central Laboratory Block and College of Medicine (Phase II) both in Gubi Campus.
Others are the Clinical Complex, College of Medicine, ATBU Teaching Hospital and Centre for Science, Technology, and Entrepreneurship Development in Tafawa-Balewa Local Government Area of Bauchi State.
Speaking during the commissioning, Prof. Bogoro extolled the commitment of ATBU Management for ensuring speedy completion of the projects, urging them to effectively utilise them to enhance teaching and learning, which is the hallmark of the Fund’s Interventions.
He urged academics to embrace fully the new trend of promoting R&D in tertiary institutions as being advocated by TETFund and also disclosed that the Fund would be sponsoring 12 new Centres of Excellence across the country.
He said Research must not be trivialised as just one of the criteria for promotion of lecturers but seen in a deeper sense as a veritable tool for solving contemporary problems.
He said; “TETFund will fund 12 centres of Excellence for innovative research in the six geopolitical zones with two centres each in each of the zones in the country.
“The centres will be promoted with special funds allocation in each of the zones. It is disheartening to discover that research is now tailored more on promotions and certifications rather than solving problems. This trend must change by employing quality renewed academic leadership and attitude.
“In the TETFund budget for the year 2020, we are adding 50 per cent of what we disbursed last year for research grants. We are budgeting this year the sum of N7.5 billion as against N5 billion earmarked for research grants last year. Research on problem-solving suitable for our Nigerian content and environmental growth is the best option for industrial development. Nigerian universities are becoming stronger, competing with foreign universities in terms of quality research harvest and academic excellence”.
Vice-Chancellor of ATBU, Bauchi, Prof. Muhammad Ahmad Abdulazeez in his remarks, noted that without the intervention of TETFund, most public tertiary educational institutions in the country would have packed up for lack of funds.
He expressed appreciation to the Management of the Fund for being proactive in rescuing institutions from total collapse while calling for a review of the mandate of TETFund, which places restrictions on road construction in campuses.
Prof. Abdulazeez assured that the University would put the structures into good use to raise students who are academically and morally sound.