…To receive N1b grants for take-off
BY TEMI OHAKWE, ABUJA – Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has selected the University of Lagos, University of Abuja and ten other Nigerian universities as pioneer Centres of Excellence to define the trajectory for the transformation of tertiary institutions in the country.
The Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, who announced this at the inauguration of the 12 maiden Centres of Excellence (TCoEs), said that the objective was to address a specific national development challenge through preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services.
Bogoro said that the board would fund the 12 Centres with a grant of one billion (N1billion) each for five years to enable them attain national aspirations.
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, University of Abuja and University of Jos have been selected as Centres of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership, and Food security respectively.
The North east has Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, TETFind Centre of Excellence in food security and University of Maiduguri, Centre of Excellence in Arid Zone Research and Development while North west has Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Centre of Excellence in Urology and Nephrology and Bayero University, Kano, in Renewable Energy.
Others are South east with Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka as Centres for Root Crop Research, Development and Agriculture Transitional Studies respectively.
Similarly, in the South south, the University of Benin and University of Uyo are now Centres of Excellence in Aquaculture and Food Technology and Computational Intelligence and Multi-Discplinary Studies respectively, while the South west has University of Ibadan and University of Lagos as Centres of Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management.
Bogoro further said; “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.
“Each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to parrner, especially community services.
Responding on behalf of the Vice Chancellors of the beneficiary universities, Prof. Lilian Salami, Vice Chancellor, University of Benin promised to live up to expectations in delivering the task accorded to them.