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TETFund sets up committee to oversee establishment of two multipurpose labs

TETFund sets up committee to oversee establishment of two multipurpose labs
September 26
10:55 2023

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has inaugurated an ad hoc committee on the establishment of central multipurpose laboratories in select universities within the country.

Sonny Echono, the executive secretary of TETFund, said in Abuja on Monday that the move is part of efforts to provide relevant infrastructure to aid academic and applied research in the country.

At the inauguration, the TETFund boss said the agency is deploying billions of naira to fund research projects with a view to deepening the institutionalisation of research and development (R&D) to tackle national issues.

Echono said TETFund has awarded a total of 727 grants to researchers from public tertiary institutions at the cost of over ₦18 billion under the National Research Fund (NRF) to undertake applied research in various disciplines.


He said the grantees often require international travel to access certain facilities they lack in their institutions.

The executive secretary said TETFund provided resources to support groundbreaking research in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic but a deficit in laboratory infrastructure posed a major challenge to researchers.

“TETFund in 2020, through the Special Research Grant to address COVID-19, funded eight research projects at a total cost of ₦260,280,393 to support the federal government’s response,” he said.


“The final report submitted by Nigerian Academy of Science indicates a glaring lack of facilities/equipment to conduct such study in some of the sites visited and a serious deficit in essential laboratory infrastructure.”

Echono said the fund sponsored over 10,227 academic staff for foreign Masters and PhD programmes at the cost of over ₦146 billion, out of which 1,017 were sponsored for bench work, at the cost of over ₦5 billion.

“Upon return of the scholars to their various institutions, many were unable to share the knowledge acquired and replicate their experiences due largely to the research infrastructure deficit in their institutions,” he said.



Echono said the global ranking of Nigerian universities can improve with research infrastructure, hence a provision for the establishment of two central multipurpose laboratories under TETFund’s 2023 special intervention.

The executive secretary said the labs are to be located in the southern and northern parts of Nigeria, prompting it to set up an ad hoc committee to work out modalities for the establishment of the facilities.

Echono said TETFund is working to ensure that such labs are available in the six geo-political zones in the country.

The TETFund boss said the new committee is tasked with making recommendations for scoping and effective establishment of the labs, including whether they should be specialised or multipurpose laboratories.


They will also provide guidance on the selection of the two beneficiary institutions to host the labs, taking cognizance of historical contexts, accessibility, presence of industries, and the needs of the nearby institutions.

Echono said the committee will also make recommendations regarding quality infrastructure in the establishment of the labs, identify the facilities for each laboratory, and submit its report after one month.


The committee is to be headed by Olufemi Bamiro, the former vice-chancellor at the University of Ibadan (UI).


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