The Executive secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund(TETFund), Professor Suleiman Bogoro has said that the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, is deeply concerned about the poor ranking of Nigerian Universities.
Webometrics latest global (July) ranking placed the best Nigerian University, the University of Ibadan as the 1196th best University in the world, followed by Covenant University Ota which came 1314th university in the world.
However, Bogoro, while speaking at a ceremony marking the 10th anniversary of TETFund in Abuja, reeled out some key areas of intervention funds allocated to the beneficiary institutions, which were aimed at upgrading them to world class institutions.
Aside from the normal interventions, TETFund has, under the High Impact Projects, invested over N109 billion in public universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education to support their emergence as centres of excellence.
The Fund has also constructed multi-media teaching laboratories in 58 federal and state Colleges of Education with the rehabilitation and equipment of laboratories in 51 federal and state polytechnics as part of its commitment to making tertiary institutions in Nigeria become globally competitive in teaching, learning, research and innovation.
The Executive Secretary noted that the funds allocated were aimed at enabling the tertiary institutions become world-class institutions, thereby improving on their global ranking, a situation he said was of deep concern to President Buhari who is determined to reverse the trend.
Speaking on the efforts to make Nigerian tertiary institutions globally competitive, Bogoro said: “TETFund has also been providing support for teaching practice in federal and state colleges of education across the country.
“So far, the Fund has supported over 71,263 lecturers under its Teachers’ Supervision Programme.
“Considering the vital role that libraries play in educational institutions, TETFund has also allocated substantial funds to public federal and state tertiary institutions for the acquisition of library books, e-library resources and academic manuscript development to books in order to promote and support research, teaching and learning.
“So far, the Fund has procured over 2,080,041 books for use in the libraries, 152,844 e-resources and 380,778 equipment as well as furniture were distributed across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
“I am pleased to inform you that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, and President Muhammadu Buhari have approved that TETFund should complete the National Library which symbolises institutional repository of knowledge and research globally.”
“In 2011, the Fund launched the National Research Fund (NRF) with a seed fund of N3b as its take-off grant to support cutting edge research in areas of critical national need and development; and in 2015, N1b was added. Following the approval of TETFund Board of Trustees in 2019, the NRF allocation became annual and N5b was approved for that year.
“In 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved additional 50 per cent increase in allocation to the NRF, being N7.5b for that year and N8.5b in 2021.
“So far, a total sum of N9b has been accessed by lecturers to finance their research activities. A total of 457 research projects have been approved across the country, some have been completed while some are still ongoing.
“Apart from the above intervention mentioned, the Fund also allocates funds on an annual basis to support Academic Research Journals and institution Based Research (IBR) for research projects that are not more than N2Million per project across public tertiary institutions.
“So far, about 2,175 projects have been approved for Institution Based Research and 342 Academic Research Journal projects were undertaken between 2011 and 2021,” he stated.
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