The Tertiary Education Trust Fund is working hard to ensure that the annual allocation to the National Research Fund (NRF) is raised to N10 billion in 2022.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed also noted the agency’s Board of Trustees had recently approved N8.5 billion as 2021 allocation for NRF.
He spoke during a virtual meeting on ‘Democratisation of Higher Education in Nigeria through Open Access,’ co-hosted by TETFund and the Training Centre in Communication, Nairobi, as part of activities to mark International Open Access Week.
Bogoro recalled that following the agency’s proposal, the Board of Trustees’ had in 2019 approved N5 billion for NRF, which was raised to N7.5 billion in 2020 and N8.5 billion in 2021.
He said: “Over the last two and half years now, we have raised funds available for research. They are two categories; institution-based and National Research Fund.
“The institution-based has a ceiling of about maybe 3,600 US dollars and it is for mainly basic research while the higher ceiling grant of about 92 or 93 US dollars is the National Research Fund aimed at promoting applied research, and to that extent, in 2019 I made a case to the Board of Trustees of TETFund to increase the threshold.
“It used to be a kind of seed money. Seed money of N4 billion for eight years but from the year 2019 to last year and this year, we increased it to N5 billion annually. Last year we increased it from N5 billion to N7.5 billion and this year it is N8.5 billion and we are hoping in 2022 it will move to N10 billion.
He said NRF is one of the major platforms put in place by the government through TETFund to support the academic community in research to achieve specific objectives, particularly in the area of science, technology and innovation.
While expressing the readiness of TETFund to always mainstream open access/science through massive support for Research and Development (R&D), Bogoro said the Fund had recently established 12 centres of excellence across the country.