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Nigeria: Govt to promote research in universities with N3bn grant

Incentives in the form of N3 billion grant may soon come the way of tertiary institutions with bias in ‘demand driven’ research, going by indications from the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).

The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Mahmood Yakubu, announced in Abuja that his organisation had set aside N3 billion to fund research institutions in order to promote demand driven research.

He stated this when a delegation from the National Office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion (NOTAP) led by the Director General Umar Bindir paid a visit to the TETFUND office for a meeting of the Committee for the Disbursement of the N3 billion Research Fund.

He said the Research Fund would address the issues of capacity building, improve quality teaching with provision for the training of students from undergraduate level to Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) levels and raising the standards of tertiary education in the country.

He further said there was a dearth of PhD holders among the teaching staff in tertiary institutions adding that the situation had negatively impacted on the quality of research being conducted in the country.

The TETFUND boss urged NOTAP to contribute its expertise in the area of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs) and Technology Transfer, saying TETFUND would need to develop an appropriate IP policy for a research-funding agency.

In his response, the NOTAP Director-General, Bindir, said that in creation of IP, the linking of research to industry and the sustenance of innovation are all based on solid technology. This, according to him, was the rationale behind the establishment of the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Offices (IPTTOs) in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

He added that NOTAP, had established 32 IPTTOs across the country and that some of them had already submitted R&D results and had obtained patents for their innovations.

Meanwhile, the management of Nigerian university systems has been asked to ensure a balance between merit and federal character principle in the appointment, deployment and utilisation of human and material resources on their campuses in order not to create feelings of marginalization by any section of the country.

The advice came at a one-day workshop for Vice Chancellors and Registrars of federal and state universities by the Federal Character Commission (FCC) at the National Universities Commission (NUC) in Abuja yesterday.

The workshop was meant to acquaint the managers with the extant laws guiding the concept and operation of federal character principles as provided in the 1999 constitution as amended.

The FCC Chairman, Professor Shuaib Oba Abdulraheem, while declaring open the workshop, said the workshop was part of the efforts by the commission to encourage university administrators to practice fairness and equity in their internal appointments and distribution of resources, especially in administrative and executive positions.

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