By Bashir Bello – Kano
Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias-Bogoro said it has committed the sum of N9 billion to enable public tertiary institutions in Nigeria to undertake research towards shaping economic growth and development of the nation.
Prof. Elias-Bogoro stated this at the 35th National Conference of the Association of the Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (AVCNU) in Kano State University of Science and Technology (KUST), Wudil, Kano.
The TETFund Boss represented by his Assistant Director, Research and Development, Dr. Hadiza Abdullahi challenged the heads of universities and academicians to key into the concept through institutionalisation and support of research and technological development in order to reverse all paradoxical indices of development of the country.
According to him, “The fund (TETFund) has committed a total sum of N9 billion for the National Research Fund (NRF) to all public tertiary institutions to undertake applied research in various academic disciplines with 240 grants awarded, mostly from your institutions.
“The National Research Fund is an intervention aimed at promoting the conduct of applied research and innovation by academics in public tertiary educational institutions and research institutes with the main objective of driving the socio-economic development of Nigeria in an increasingly globalized and highly competitive knowledge-driven world economy.
“Nation’s all over the world have recognized that national growth and competitiveness (in the context of a globalized economy) depends very much on continuous technological improvement and innovation, driven by a well-organized vibrant research and development system, which integrates the research and training capacities of higher education with the needs of industry and the larger society.
“Universities in developing countries like Nigeria have been criticized as being substandard, lacking relevance to contemporary needs, highly elitist and generally costly.
“Our tertiary institutions should make efforts to reverse all paradoxical indices of development through institutionalisation and support of Research and Development which would drive and shape her contemporary society and civilisation for economic development.
“We at TETFund are convinced that Research and Development is a major driver of economic development and technological growth of nations. That Research and Development will not only contribute to the development of a mature and productive academic system in Nigeria but also to scientific innovations that will be useful to domestic industries amongst others. As front liners, Heads of Universities have to recognize the need to key into this indispensable concept in order to effectively maximize it’s tremendous benefits,” the TETFund Boss, Prof. Elias-Bogoro stated.
Similarly, Kano State Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje no nation will prosper without giving priority to the development of its educational sector.
Ganduje represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Usman Alhaji said in six years of the present administration in the state, a lot has been done to develop education at the existing universities such as the KUST, Yusuf Maitama Sule University, Kano, (YUMSUK) and other tertiary institutions in the state.
The Governor also said the administration sponsored accreditation of over 240 academic programmes at the state owned-tertiary institutions.
The acting Chairman, AVCNU, Prof. Timothy Olagbemiro, said the theme of the national conference “Pathways to going green: Creative Funding and DARQ Technologies in Nigerian Universities” was carefully selected to respond to the demand to meet up the social, technological, and environmental pathways to sustainability which is a dominant subject globally.
Prof. Olagbemiro said, “the promotion of a greener, healthier and sustainable environment is one of the global Sustainable Development Goals and we believe that all our campuses must develop and implement a “going green” agenda,” he said.
Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, KUST Wudil, Prof. Shehu Alhaji-Musa, described the theme of the national conference as apt as it tends to address issues of sustainable growth and development of the university systems in order to make it more responsive to the challenges of investments, funding and digital technologies in the educational and learning management systems.