Fed Govt releases N292.6b for public higher institutions

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The Federal Government, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has approved N292.66 billion for disbursement to some public universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (CoEs) across the country.

Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, TETFund Executive Secretary said the intervention, which has Federal Government’s approval, would be spread to higher institutions in each of the six geo-political zones in the country.

He added that, at least, one university from each of the six- geo-political zones will get N906.8 million while about N628.4 million will go to one polytechnic and one college of education from each of the six geo-political zones.

Bogoro announced this yesterday while welcoming heads of beneficiary institutions to a one-day stakeholders’ meeting at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Conference Centre in Abuja.

The TETFund boss stressed the need to complete the national headquarters of National Library of Nigeria, which he said the Federal Government had handed over to the fund.

He said the library project represented an important national asset that should not be ignored due to funding challenges.

Bogoro also stressed the essence of research to national development, saying the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had been consistent in approving funds to see that academics produce quality researches that would address emerging challenges bedeviling the country.

He said this accounted for the setting up of the National Research Fund, which has increased from N3 billion to N8.5 billion in recent times.

Bogoro, who expressed delight that Nigeria was moving closer to having a National Research and Development Foundation, urged academics in the country to turn around the fortunes of the country through cutting-edge researches.

He said: “Let us apply our innovative research outcomes to solve the security problems. Let us bring back value addition to the solid minerals that we are blessed with. It is the goldmine we have not explored to any significant level.”

On the 2021 research grants to lecturers, Bogoro advised the nation’s academics to live up to expectations by producing good proposals.

The TETFund boss said the fund was ready to finance such academic exercises.

“I have signed the letters of allocation for the research grants that we are issuing out – 217 of them. This is the highest research grant ever. It has never gone beyond 200. We have 217 research grants that have recently been approved,” he said.

Speaking on the recent special allocations by TETFund’s Board of Trustees (BoT), Bogoro said N5 billion each was approved for the University of Lagos (UNILAG) and Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) in Zaria for massive infrastructural projects development.

The TETFund boss said N1 billion was also approved for the completion of special intervention projects at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Ile-Ife, Osun State and another N1 billion for Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo.

According to him, more tertiary institutions will benefit from the special allocations soon.

Bogoro said TETFund was also providing support to boost research activities in Defence Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON), among others, to address the nation’s security challenges.

On the fund’s intervention in the Health sector, the agency boss explained that TETFund had provided N1 billion to one university each in the six geo-political zones for medical research as well as providing facilities for the treatment of major ailments, like prostate cancer, kidney problems, among others.

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