The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has allocated the total sum of N12 billion to 12 public universities selected as pioneer TETFund Centres of Excellence, to lead research efforts in various fields.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who presented the allocation letters to Vice Chancellors of the universities at the inauguration of the centres in Abuja, said 2 universities were selected from each of the six geopolitical zones.
Professor Bogoro said the allocation covers a period of five years, during which the centres are expected to embark on problem-solving research to enhance national development.
According to him, the aim of establishing the centres of excellence is to support strategic, applied research and expertise with potentials for industrial application, as well as bring together complementary resources needed for technical development and industrial application.
The TETFund boss said the initiative will also bridge the gap between researchers and users as well as stimulate the triple-helix relationship of the academia, governance and industry, and enhance scientific research being patronised by the industrial sector.
Also speaking, the Chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees, Alhaji Kashim Imam, urged the benefitting universities to equip the centres and invest the funds wisely to achieve the expected objectives.
Responding on behalf of the Vice Chancellors of benefitting universities, the Vice Chancellor of University of Benin, Prof Lilian Salami, thanked TETFund for the support and assured that the centres will work hard to meet the expectations of the fund.
Earlier, the Director of Research and Development Centre, TETFund, Dr Salihu Bature, expressed hope that all Nigerian universities will eventually become centres of excellence.
Bature said the fund envisioned that unless universities become centres of excellence, they cannot effectively serve the nation by meeting it’s developmental challenges.
The 12 universities selected as TETFund’s pioneer centres of excellence include: University of Abuja, University of Benin, University of Ibadan, University of Maiduguri, and Bayero University Kano.
Others are Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Akwa, University of Uyo, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, University of Jos, University of Lagos, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, and Uthman Danfodio University, Sokoto.