The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has approved N12 billion to the University of Lagos, University of Abuja and 10 others as the “pioneer Centres of Excellence”.
The Executive Secretary, TETFund, Suleiman Bogoro, disclosed this at the inauguration of the 12 maiden Centres of excellence (TCoEs).
Bogoro said the selection is aimed at addressing a specific national development challenge through the preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services.
The Executive Secretary also said the board would fund the 12 centres with a grant of one billion each for five years to enable them to attain national yearnings.
“Two selected centres in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country were expected to ensure the strengthening and sustainability of the Centres beyond the year 2025.
“In North-central, the University of Abuja and University of Jos have been selected as Centres of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership and Food security respectively,” he said.
He added that the North-east has Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi TETFund Centre of Excellence in food security and the University of Maiduguri has the Centre of Excellence in Arid Zone Research and Development.
“The North-west has Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Centre of Excellence in Urology and Nephrology and Bayero University, Kano, in Renewable Energy,” he added.
Bogoro said, “The South-east has the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Root Crop Research, Development and Agriculture Transitional Studies respectively.”
“Moreso, in South-south, the University of Benin and the University of Uyo got Centres of Excellence in Aquaculture and Food Technology and Computational Intelligence and Multi-Disciplinary Studies respectively.
“The South-west has the University of Ibadan and the University of Lagos in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management,” he stated.
He stated that the first batch of the institutions were carefully selected while assuring the board’s unflinching support towards the realisation of the objectives of the initiative.
“The conceptual framework for Centres of Excellence is unlikely to be unfamiliar, alien or even novel to most of you here. Nevertheless, a Strategic Framework and Establishment Guidelines for TETFund Centres of Excellence, as approved by the TETFund Board of Trustees will be made available to all of you,” he said.
Bogoro explained further that each selected institution is required to implement its own approved TCOE, “with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through the preparation of professionals and applied research.”
“Within that prism, institutions will have the autonomy to implement their own institution-specific proposals to enhance capacity to deliver national high-quality training to address development challenges,” he said.
He said the major objective of establishing the centres is to ”support strategic and application-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial application”.
Also, the chairman, TETFund Board of Trustees (BOT), Kashim Ibrahim-Imam said the TETFund BOT were committed to advancing the tertiary education in all ramifications.
Mr Ibrahim-Iman said the fund would continue to sustain the process of research in the country and an additional 12 universities would be established by 2021.