The management of the University of Abuja (UniAbuja) has presented medals of honour to 10 researchers and 20 authors from the University for winning grants of over N1.1 billion naira in the outgoing year, 2021, and publishing in first class journals across the world.
Vice Chancellor of the school, Prof. Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, who presented the medals to the researchers and authors at the University’s main campus in Abuja, said the decision was to appreciate the people that raised the flag of the school, and encourage other scholars to seek and win more grants across the world.
Prof. Na’Allah explained that the researchers were able to attract the funds through their various works which was aimed at proffering solutions to societal challenges.
He said: “We are so excited with this outgoing year, 2021. Our researchers won grants from all over the world to do research in different areas, thereby, solving problems for Nigeria, for humanity, bringing new products into being, and working with industries.
“I am so happy that this N1.1 billion naira was realized by our researchers and most of the money came from Europe. What we have done is to give them medals, to tell them that UniAbuja is proud of them, and Nigeria, the world and indeed humanity are proud of them, because their research was in various areas such as hypertension, salt consumption, cultural matters and different areas of human endeavour.
‘’It was also an indication that the UniAbuja has come to lead Nigeria. We are telling our scholars that we must set an example as a University for others to copy. We want to lead, show that academic is not just about teaching and going home, but that research is also fundamental to the University.
“Undoubtedly, we are have security challenges in Nigeria. Researchers should be at the forefront in search for solution, and we, at the University of Abuja are doing that, so today is for researchers and authors.”
Meanwhile, Director of the Centre for Sponsored Project, UniAbuja, Prof. Obiageli Nnodu, in her remarks, said the University had organized series of workshops for scholars and researchers to empower them to carry out critical research and win more grants both locally and internationally.
She said: “It’s the vision of the Vice Chancellor to take research to a new level, hence he established the University Research Council, and this council is made up of eminent representatives from each faculty.
“He set up the accounting, transparency and accessibility system to make sure that scholars get grants and execute the work with all the administrative support they require. So, the Centre for Sponsored Projects has come up with policies and checklists and all necessary policy documents to undergo quality research.
“Last year, 37 persons applied for the national research fund. This year, we had a major grantsmanship in August in which we brought 12 leaders across the nation to mentor and teach the rudiments of what it takes to write proposal for successful grant.
“The people were taught how they could adjust, focus and fine-tune their proposals to be able to secure attention and win more grants.”
One of the medal recipients, Dr. Godwin Akaba, said his area of research was on maternal and perinatal health towards improving the quality of life of women and newborn, and preventing death of mothers and newborn in lower middle income countries like Nigeria.
Another medal recipient, Prof. Kalu Dike Ojji, said the focus of his research work was on hypertension, hypertensive heart failure with interest in developing the best way to treat heart failure in blacks especially those residing in Africa.