The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, says N6,396,159,060.00 has been approved for 217 research proposals recommended by the National Research Fund, NRF, under the 2020 grant cycle exercise.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, made this known at the inauguration of the Fund’s National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee, NRFS&MC, and Technical Advisory Group, TAG, on Tuesday in Abuja.
He said the amount approved under the grant cycle that was concluded in January 2021, almost equalled the N6.7 billion that was disbursed for 240 research grants between 2012 to 2019.
“From 2012 to 2019, a total of 240 Research Grants have been awarded at a total cost of N6,708,367,736.25.
“Also in 2020, a key development in the NRF grant administration was the introduction of an Electronic Document Management System (EDMS) to automate the hitherto manual processes associated with receiving and processing of Concept Notes and Research Proposals.
“This was done with a view to entrench and sustain the culture of efficiency and effectiveness in the process of awarding the NRF Grant and in line with global best practices.
“The 2020 NRF Grant Cycle Exercise was concluded in January 2021 with a total of 217 Research Proposals recommended for Grant Award at a total cost of N6,396,159,060.00,” he said
Bogoro, who has embarked upon a paradigm shift that has flipped the list of intervention areas in TETFund, catapulting research to the top spot, posited that Research and Development (R&D) holds the massive key for the nation’s rapid development.
He said the TETFund National Research Fund intervention line was introduced in 2009 as a Special Intervention Programme, aimed at promoting the conduct of applied research and innovation by academics in public tertiary educational institutions and research institutes.
“In order to actualize these objectives, the TETFund Board of Trustees set up the NRF Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC) and charged it with the responsibility for implementing and administering the intervention.
“A seed fund of N3 billion was approved by the Board of Trustees in 2011 for the initial take-off, augmented with an additional N1 billion in 2015. Upon my reinstatement in 2019, we transformed the NRF into an annual intervention and enlarged the funding envelope to N5 billion. As at the 2020 iteration of the NRF Grant Cycle, we had increased the funding pot to N7.5 billion.
“For 2021, we have made available N8.5 billion, indicating a clear progression and our determination to keep moving in the right direction.”
Responding on behalf of the newly inaugurated National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee, its chairman Professor Abubakar Kundiri, promised that the members would give their best to achieve the assigned tasks.
Kundiri also vowed that no stone would be left unturned to effectively strengthen the monitoring of TETFund’s research grants.