From Paul Orude, Bauchi
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund) has lamented the poor showing of tertiary institutions in the North East in accessing funding from TETFund.
TETfund’s Director of Research, Dr. Salihu Gerei, made the disclosure in Bauchi at a five –day workshop sponsored by TETfund and hosted by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi.
Gerei placed the blame squarely on unfundable research proposals emanating from the sub- region.
He noted that out of the 217 proposals approved for funding recently by TETFund, only six came from the North East, describing it as unacceptable.
The workshop was to train participants from all the 32 tertiary institutions in the North East sub- region in the art and science of writing grants – winning research proposals.
All those who spoke at the opening ceremony, at the Command Guest House, Bauchi, emphasised the need for Nigerian researchers to shift from carrying out mere theoretical studies to problem solving research and development that has commercial value.
These central theme resonated in the speeches of the Executive Secretary of Tetfund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the Vice –Chancellor of ATBU, Prof. Muhammad Ahmad Abdul – Azeez, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Danazumi Ibrahim Mohammed, Director of Research TETFund, Dr. Salihu Gerei and the Director of Research, Innovation and Development of ATBU, Prof Fatima B.J. Sawa.
The opening ceremony, which attracted over 150 eminent personalities, at the Command Guest House, Bauchi, emphasised the need for Nigerian researchers to shift from carrying out mere theoretical studies to problem – solving research and development that has commercial value.
This central theme resonated in the speeches of the Executive Secretary of Tetfund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the Vice –Chancellor of ATBU, Prof. Muhammad Ahmad Abdulazeez, Director General of the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP), Dr. Danazumi Ibrahim Mohammed.
The Director of Research, Innovation and Development, ATBU, Professor Fatima Sawa, reiterated the reason for the workshop, which was to equip researchers in the sub –region to measure up to expectation in attracting research grants to their institutions.
With the quality of the facilitators, Sawa expressed optimism that no fewer than 150 well written and fundable research proposals from the participants of the workshop would be submitted to TETFund soon.
While seeking research collaborations with the institutions in the sub- region, the Vice-Chancellor of ATBU Professor Abdulazeez, identified some of the major research facilities and activities in his institution.
Abdulazeez disclosed that they include a world – class Molecular Genetics and Infectious Disease Research Laboratory, installation of a Solar Hybrid Power Plant to ensure uninterrupted power supply for research activities, National Centre for Petroleum Research and Development, Dairy Research and Development Centre of Excellence and the World Bank Sponsored Sustainable Procurement, Environmental and Social Standards Enhancement Project Centre of Excellence.
Eminent scholars with track records of winning both local and international grants were assembled to facilitate the workshop. They include Prof. Wilfred Fon Mbacham from Cameroon, who spoke on “Paradigm Shift in Research and Development: Emerging Opportunities and Challenges” and “Scientific Diplomacy”, Prof. Ishiyaku Faguji – “Role of Research and Development in attaining the SDGs in Nigeria”, Prof. Oladele Akogun – “Sources of funding for Research , Innovation and Development Globally and in Nigeria”, Prof. Ganiyu S. Aderoumu – “Proposals that attract National and Global Funding”, Prof Umar Alhaji Pate (VC of Federal University of Kashere) – “ Proposal Format and Order of Presentation” and Prof. Suleiman D. Abdul – “Research Budgeting”. There was also a virtual presentation from an Alumnus of ATBU, Masduk Abdulkarim, who spoke on “Experiences in Developing Fundable Proposals.” Abdulkarim is the Programme Manager of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
One common thread that ran through all their insightful presentations was the need for research grant – seekers to adhere strictly to all the guidelines provided by the funding agencies.
They also observed that proposals that attract favourable attention were those written by multi- disciplinary teams with credible and experienced Principal Investigators, warning that the days of one-man show were over.