TETFund seeks $1bn annual funding for research

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, on Thursday, called on the Federal Government to increase its annual funding for research and development to $1bn.

While commending the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), for the recent increase of the research grant from N5bn to N7.5bn, the agency said massive investment in research would bring about the desired development in the country.

The Executive Secretary, TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, made the request during the inauguration of the over 160-member Standing Committee of Research and Development, which drew membership from the academia, industry and the private sector.

The President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, was named as one of the three vice-presidents.

Bogoro also made a case for the promulgation of a law that would bring into full force a National Research and Development Foundation to deepen research in Nigeria.

According to him, the standing committee is expected to come up with its own recommendation on the required amount that would be suitable for efficient research activities in the country.

He said, “We need a robust institutional framework and arrangement for the NRDF. I am recommending a minimum annual budgetary threshold of $1bn as the funding portfolio for this foundation.

“When we consider the inevitable benefits of R&D and the socio-economic challenges in Nigeria, this amount begins to look like a drop of water in the ocean with a population of 200 million people in 2020 and projected to become double in 10 years for now.

“To galvanise our vision towards making R&D the ace and game changer in our national development agenda, the need for an appropriate law to support the establishment of a National R&D Foundation cannot be overstated.”

The Minister of State for Education, Chukuemeka Nwajuiba, urged members of the committee to put in their best for the national assignment.

The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Njidda Gadzama, said the event would transform the socio-economic sector by ensuring a robust promotion of cutting-edge innovations.

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