We Spent N23bn On 912 Research Projects, TETFund Says


The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said that it spent nothing less than 23 billion naira on 912 research projects yet it had not yielded viable outcomes to move the country forward.

TETFund representative at the
validation workshop for the project, “Strengthening Research and Innovation Funding Agencies in West Africa”, Dr. Hadiza Ismail disclosed this on Monday, March 25, 2024, in Abuja.

Ismail averred that the Fund had tried as much as possible as the supposed Council representing Nigeria within the Science Granting Initiative adding that they had been working closely with the Association of African Universities (AAU) and were currently working with them on the project of strengthening the science granting councils regarding managing and funding research projects.

“So far the Fund has spent over 23 billion naira on research projects, about 912 research projects have been sponsored.

“Despite the fact that we have given over 900 research grants we want to see how we can link these research projects to industries and get viable outcomes at the end of the day that will help Nigeria to move forward.

“With that huge amount of investment, it is expected to see that we have projects that have been skilled to commercialisation and we should have many patents right now, we have a few but we will appreciate more.

“Having a good research framework, an efficient and effective one will help not only Nigeria but the Fund in particular in managing our research projects and all our R&D interventions”, she said.

Speaking earlier, Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies Network, Prof. Nicholas Ozor informed that Nigeria did not yet have a well-recognized National Research and Innovation Funding Agency, “that is part of why we are here, to work with appropriate agencies and stakeholders within the science, technology and innovative ecosystem to see how we can establish functional science, research and innovative funding agency in Nigeria.

“Other countries in Africa especially in Sub-saharan Africa already have functional Councils and because of that, they are able to receive funding from some agencies across the world like the Royal Crown Canada, IDRC, the German Foundation, FCDO, and others to support research and innovation development in their countries.

“Under this project, we are working with the African University Of Science, Technology, and Innovation, University Of Nigeria, and TETFund”, he said

Ozor explained that the project called Strengthening of the National Research and Innovation Funding in West Africa was a project targeting six countries in West Africa aimed at strengthening their National Research Councils for national research and funding agencies where they exist:

“Currently, TETFund is standing in as the representative council for Nigeria but we are saying that we should best situate the national research and innovation funding agency in an appropriate establishment that sees to national innovation system which by default should be hosted within the ministry of science, technology and innovation of any country because that is where they are in the other 17 countries where they are functioning.

“We are here to talk with critical stakeholders to understand the need and what should be done to have a council well situated in an appropriate ministry”, he said.

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