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N7b research grants yet to be accessed by public varsities, others

ONYINYECHI UDEMEZUE, Abuja

FEDERAL Government has decried the inability of most Universities and technical institutions to access research grants of over N7.8billion domicile in the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The Minister of Education, Ibrahim Shekarau who disclosed this in Abuja, at the public presentation of 20 specialised textbooks published under the TETFund’s National Book Development fund intervention, said it was lamentable that the trend persist within the academic community despite the realisation that research work ought to remain the cardinal objective of any tertiary institution the world over.
The Minister said out of the allocation of over N10.052billion to Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of education for institution based research in year 2014 over N7billion was still lying fallow with the Central Bank of Nigeria.
According to him, “Between 2009 to 2014 the sum of N5.005billion was allocated to public universities through TETFund for sponsorship of Institution Based Research (IBR).
“While the sums of N2.541billion and N2.056billion allocated to Polytechnics and Colleges of Education respectively are yet to be fully accessed as at October 2014.
“The bad news however, is that over 70percent of these allocated funds are still un-accessed, this trend is not acceptable and does not show seriousness on the part of stakeholders responsible to change the fortune of our tertiary institutions.”
Earlier, Chairman, Board of Trustee of TETFund, Musa Babayo said the intervention agency has always shown commitment to the development of physical and intellectual infrastructure of public institutions in the country.
He noted that over one hundred professional journals have been published through the intervention agency in the past few years.
According to Babayo, over 30,000 projects have been executed nationwide with none abandoned either by the institutions or the intervention agency.
“The fund in the last four years has embarked on numerous projects across the country and also delivered over 30,000 projects nationwide.
“99 per cent of the 2 per cent tax fund collected through the FIRS is domicile with the Central Bank of Nigeria” He added.
Executive Secretary of the Fund, Suleiman Bogoro said the fund has ensured transparent interventions in Nigeria higher institutions.
He said such intervention has ensured that there is less complain about physical infrastructures in our universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, than ever before.
It would be recalled that the national research fund was established with a seed grant of N3 billion to help rescucitate research activities in the nation’s public institutions.

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