The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has disbursed N1.72billion to finance research works in different thematic areas in tertiary institutions in the country.
Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, the Executive Secretary, said this at the inauguration of the National Research Fund (NRF) Screening and Monitoring Committee and the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Book Development in Abuja, yesterday.
He said the two committees would be chaired by Prof. Femi Bamiro, Pro-Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State and Prof. Abdalla Adamu, Vice-Chancellor, National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), respectively.
“Since the establishment of the NRF in 2009, with seed fund of N3billion, about N1.72 billion has so far been disbursed to finance researches in different thematic areas.
“An additional one billion naira was allocated in 2016 to beef up the intervention.”
He said the NRF and National Book Development were among the 14 intervention lines of the TETFund mandate.
He said the two committees were put in place to assist the fund in the screening and selection process for the purpose of administering the interventions.
Baffa said the NRF was introduced to help resuscitate research activities in the nation’s pubic tertiary institutions, so as to support scholars to meet up with the requirement of their calling.
He said conducting quality research in public tertiary institutions would not only engender national growth but also raise the standard and the global competitiveness of Nigeria’s education system.
The executive secretary said that in carrying out the research proposal screening activities, the fund divided all the critical disciplines into three categories with a total of 20 thematic areas.
He listed the three categories to include: Humanities and Social Sciences; Science, Technology and Innovation and Cross Cutting.
He said members of the committee on the NRF was reduced from 80 to 21 to facilitate effective implementation of the research fund.
He said the Technical Advisory Group on Book Development intervention was set up with the sole objective of supporting the restoration of research and academic publishing within the higher education sector.
“The fund dedicated N2billion seed grant for this programme, which is being assessed by lecturers in various public tertiary institutions for the development of manuscript into books.”
Baffa added that the number of members of the committee was reduced to 15 members from over 70 to ensure efficient and effective implementation of the intervention.
He said that one of the committee’s terms of reference was to harvest doctorate theses and masters’ dissertations from the beneficiary institutions for possible conversion into books, among others.
He noted that the chairmen and members of the two committees consisted of a wide range of professionals drawn from within the academia and some relevant parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Education.