TETFund Provides N15bn For Projects In ATBU

By Adetokunbo Ojo

The Acting Director Public Affairs of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund),  Mr Abdulmumin Oniyangi, has said the Fund is doubtful if the reports published on some media platforms credited to the Executive Secretary, National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Prof. Idris Muhammad Bugaje, decrying TETFund’s investments in Research and Development, which was more of an attack on the Fund, actually came from the erudite Professor, because it lacks an iota of truth.

According to a press statement signed by Mr Oniyangi on behalf of the Executive Secretary, TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, and made available to Education Monitor, the NBTE Boss might have been misquoted by the press while speaking at an occasion of the commissioning of NBTE Research and Development Innovation Exhibition Hall recently in Kaduna.

According to the said report, the Executive Secretary of NBTE, who decried that university researches invariably end up in journals without impact on the society, had called for “a paradigm shift by allowing Polytechnics to key into the Research and Development project of TETFund to end the era of university research ending in journal publications.”

Mr Oniyangi said it was likely that Prof. Bugaje, who is a member of  TETFund’s Board of Trustees (BoT) was quoted out of context.

“In view of the vantage position of Prof. Bugaje as a member of the Board of Trustees of TETFund, representing the NBTE, specifically, Polytechnics in Nigeria, we are of the opinion that it is likely that the ES NBTE may have been quoted out of context, since NBTE should not be seen to publicly attack Universities and TETFund in an area of their priority and competence.

“However, it may suffice to restate for the avoidance of doubt that TETFund’s R&D Grants come under two platforms, namely the Institution Based Research (IBR) and the National Research Fund (NRF); and both grants are open to the three categories of the Fund’s beneficiary institutions viz. Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of education,” Oniyangi said.

Mr Oniyangi further said to show that Polytechnic education is a critical stakeholder in the R&D and Innovation chain, TETFund  had recently established six Centres of Excellence in six federal Polytechnics alongside six other Federal  Colleges of Education across the six geopolitical zones, “in addition to the 12 existing ones in universities across the country, with the aim of supporting strategic and application-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial applications, among others.”

Oniyangi said Professor Bugaje who had commended the efforts of TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, for his passion for institutionalising research and development in Nigeria during the Capacity Building Workshop for administrators of the Centres of Excellence in January 2022, couldn’t have criticised TETFund’s area of priority.

“In furtherance of the Fund’s recognition of Polytechnics as major players in the country’s drive for technological development, the Fund also recently in Abuja, held the first phase of a Capacity Building Workshop for public polytechnics with the theme: “Improving Skills Development in Nigerian Polytechnics for Economic Growth, Entrepreneurship and Social Inclusion,” with the second phase scheduled to hold in Lagos, anytime, this February.”

Oniyangi said Professor Bogoro’s cardinal agenda since resumption of duty at TETFund, has been a knowledge-based economy driven by research and development that will impact on industries and the society geared towards making Nigeria globally competitive.

Oniyangi hinted that only a few days ago, Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, in Imo state, displayed an electric vehicle manufactured through innovative and productive research supported by TETFund.

“It is also a fact that TETFund is massively supporting Airforce Institute of Technology (AFIT) Kaduna, to strengthen their product development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) and related technologies.
“We hope neighboring polytechnics will take advantage of the visible innovative work at AFIT that will encourage TETFund to support them, including the transformation of “PANTEKA” artisanal village in Kaduna to an entrepreneurial Hub,” he said.

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