The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has received approval to increase the National Research Fund (NRF) to N7.5 billion for the year 2020 from its initial N3 billion.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this at the 2020 TETFund Board of Trustees (BoT) retreat in Abuja, stated that the approval, which was granted by President Muhammadu Buhari, provides TETFund the opportunity to provide twelve Covid-19 and related infectious disease molecular laboratories, two in each geopolitical zone of the nation.
Bogoro said: “In addition, the BOT also endorsed and was subsequently approved by the President that six Medical Simulation Research and Clinical Training facilities in six Colleges of Medicine (one in each geopolitical zone) are to be established this year.”
“Individually, this provided an opportunity for twelve COVID-19 and related infectious disease Molecular Laboratories to be provided (two in each geopolitical zone), thus making TETFund the highest single provider of COVID-19 test Centres in Nigeria.”
“The BOT also approved that TETFund sponsors some COVID-19 Research proposals to the tune of over N200 million, mainly from Universities and NAFDAC, this being one of the reasons TETFund has recently been made the Secretariat for the Nigeria Covid-19 Research Consortium R&D.”
Bogoro also disclosed that the BoT of TETFund approved over N200 million to sponsor some Covid-19 research proposals mainly from universities and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
The latest approval makes the agency the largest holder of research grants in Nigeria.