Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has reminded the academia that they are being relied upon for solutions to the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria and beyond, which they can only achieve through research.
TETFund Director of Research and Development, Dr. Salihu Bakari, said the reinvigorated interest of TETFund in providing grants for research and development activities in tertiary institutions was borne out of a need to create leverages where contemporary challenges in Nigeria would be resolved.
TETFund, in a statement released in Abuja, on Friday, indicated that a week-long capacity-building workshop was held for researchers from selected universities in Nigeria, in Dubai, UAE, to acquaint them with necessary skills and abilities to conduct credible research in a particular area of interest.
It, however, debunked a story in one of the online media platforms, which alleged that lecturers who secured grants for research were misappropriating it, using it to buy cars, building houses and engaging in other frivolities.
The fund said that though there might have been little infractions in the past, the idea of the workshop was to advise academics on appropriate use of the research funds, and to create a paradigm shift from the old way of thinking to applied research.
He said: “I won’t call it diversion, there is nothing like diversion anywhere because TETFund by law is supposed to disburse and administer funds, so there are always guidelines.
“So, if there are guidelines for application of resources, anytime we find misapplication or infractions, TETFund will stop further disbursement and ask the recipient to account for the monies given before, TETFund has done much by producing thousands of PHd holders including sponsoring so many Industrial-based researches.
“For long, universities have been carrying out research for publication and not for development. But now, government is investing resources in applied research because research should be problem- solving. In other words, lecturers should be seen at the forefront of diversifying the economy, making sure that the economy is knowledge-based, solving problems through research not with oil alone.”