The Tertiary Education Trust Fund disclosed that it increased its funding volume for research in the last three years, totalling N15.5 billion naira. In 2018, TETfund funding was N3 billion but moved up to N5 billion in 2019 and N7.5 billion in 2020. It is also foresighting N8.5 billion for 2021.
This was disclosed by the TETfund executive secretary, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who spoke at the convocation ceremony of Veritas University, Abuja. Bogoro said that Nigeria needs to invest about $2 billion yearly in Research and Development (R&D) to improve its current economic outlook.
He further added that the country is suffering from low economic growth, due to inadequate investment and commitment to research. According to him: “The yearly budget of an Agric institute in Brazil is about the same as TETfund’s yearly budget. The reason why research has not taken its rightful place and is not contributing to the economy is because there is no fund. That is why at TETfund, we decided that one of the main recommendations is the emergence of a national R&D foundation for Nigeria.
“Presently, TETfund has been increasing its funding volume for research. It was N3 billion, but two years ago, it moved to N5 billion and last year, we increased it to N7.5 billion. Hopefully, we will raise it to N8.5 billion and yet, it is the largest research grant in Nigeria, but it is inadequate.”
He noted that the research grants, which would be used to support bachelors, masters and postgraduate studies, would also assist in helping poor undergraduate students.
“If that happens, it is the only way Nigeria can be seen to be competitive on a sustainable basis,” he said.
However, he observed that most of the challenges confronting the nation today were due to the inability to inject science and technology for value addition.