List of 12 Universities to Receive TETfund Research Grant

ABUJA – The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has enlisted twelve Nigerian universities as pioneer centres of excellence to spearhead research and development pro­grammes that would contribute to national growth.

The universities picked include the University of Abuja (UNIABU­JA), the University of Benin (UNI­BEN), the University of Ibadan (UI), the University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Bayero Univer­sity Kano (BUK), Nnamdi Azikiwe University (UNIZIK), University of Uyo (UNIUYO), Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike; Uni­versity of Jos (UNIJOS), Uni­versity of Lagos (UNILAG), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), and Uth­man Danfodio University, Sokoto.

The universities were drawn from first, second, and third generation universities in the country, and two uni­versities each per geopolitical zone.

Presenting allocation let­ters and guidelines to vice chancellors of the universi­ties, Executive Secretary of the Fund, Suleiman Bogoro, said the Federal Government graciously approved N1 bil­lion as takeoff grant for each of the universities, totalling N12 billion.

According to the terms of reference, within a five-year period, University of Abuja is expected to blaze the trail as centre of excellence in public governance and leadership.

In the same vein, the Uni­versity of Jos and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University are expected to churn out re­search in food security, while the University of Maiduguri would focus on arid zone re­search and development.

On its part, the Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, would concentrate on urology and nephrology.

Bayero University, Kano, would focus on renewable energy while Micheal Okpa­ra University would focus on root crop research and devel­opment.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe University would dwell on agricultural and engineering translational studies.

Others are University of Benin (aquaculture and food technology), University of Uyo (computational intelli­gence), University of Ibadan, (multidisciplinary studies) and University of Lagos (bio­diversity conservation and ecosystem management).

Bogoro said the aim of establishing the centres of excellence was to support strategic and applications oriented research and exper­tise with potential industrial applications.

He said the implication of this was that they would be ex­pected to support national and global competitive research and development in strategic and applied sciences, includ­ing medicine, with the aim of generating innovations.

The 12 pioneer universities are also expected to bring to­gether the complementary re­sources needed for technical development and industrial application.

He said: “This includes concentrating multidisci­plinary, interdisciplinary and translational research compe­tence in order to further the development of products, pro­cesses and services, typically by focusing on problems that demand larger efforts than can be provided by smaller projects.

“Bridging the gap between researchers and users, stim­ulating and strengthening triple-helix relationships.

“This is in order to en­hance scientific research be­ing patronised by industry, and in order to make the ter­tiary educational institutions generally more responsive to industry needs.

“In addition is expertise development and training at doctorate level in areas of industry interest, and the development of knowledge management platforms and innovation hubs.”

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