Why we allocated huge funds for research in academia –TETFund

* Challenges Universities to do applied researches for national development

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

For Nigeria to really make marked progress in key indices of development, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has reminded the nation’s academia that they are being relied upon for solutions to the socio-economic challenges in the country and and beyond, which they can only achieve through research.

Reports say Dr. Salihu Bakari, TETFund Director of Research and Development, in a statement in Abuja, Friday, indicated that a week-long capacity-building workshop was held for researchers from selected universities in Nigeria, Dubai and UAE to acquaint them with necessary skills and abilities to conduct credible research in a particular area of interest.

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.

The Fund also has discredited a story in one of the online media platforms (not ConsumerConnect), which alleged that lecturers who secured grants for research were misappropriating it to buy cars, build houses, and engage in other frivolities.

It stated 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.

“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 Ph.D holders, including sponsoring so many industrial-based researches,” he said.

He, however, did not specify the number of the beneficiaries of the doctoral degree programme the Fund had sponsored in institutions in Nigeria and overseas as well as at what cost to TETFund.

According to him, hitherto universities had 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,” he stated.

Bakari challenges lecturers to be seen at the forefront of diversifying the Nigerian economy, by ensuring that the economy is knowledge-based, solving problems through research and not with oil alone.”

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