From Segun Babatunde in Bauchi
The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the Management of Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University (ATBU), Bauchi have organised a training workshop for lecturers of universities and heads of Tertiary institutions from the Northeast zone on grant-writing skills in order for them to be able to access grants for their research.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Bihari recently approved the increase of the National Research Fund (NRF), domicile in TETFUND, from N5 billion to N7.5 billion in 2020.
Declaring open the 5-Day workshop held at the Command Guest House, Bauchi, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Proffesor Suleiman Bogoro lamented the low level performance of northeast tertiary institution lecturers in the area on writing grant proposals for research.
The TETFUND boss who was represented by the DG National office for Technology Acquisition and Promotion, Dr Danlami Ibrahim Mohammed said that the pattern was not encouraging, hence, the need for the workshop to train northeast lecturers on how to write grant winning Proposals.
According to him, “For too long, we academics have been operating in our silos, clapping with one hand. That is unacceptable. No wonder we are not getting the outcome of research that solves problems of the society of technology and of economy.
“That is precisely why our universities have failed to rise to the level of respectability that has been associated with the most competitive economics and the greatest of civilizations. This has to change. I’m not happy about the performance of the North-east in respect of research and grant writing application.
“It’s for this reason that we agreed on this training at TETFUND, and we spoke with the VC of ATBU just as I spoke with the VC of the University of Benin, University of Nigeria Nsukka and ABU that complacency can destroy our rating and ranking. And that is precisely why we called this meeting,” he said.
He further urged the participants to rise up to the occasion by coming up with the most recognised and acceptable research and grant proposals that the Northeast can benefit from.
On his part, Vice Chancellor, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University Bauchi (ATBU), Prof. Mohammed Abdulazeez, stated that that the university is working assiduously to contribute its quota to proffer solutions to Nigeria’s problems.
“Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University is trying to solve issues. One of the issues is the insecurities of this country. People don’t even look at it, and I think as a university, we are supposed to find solutions to this issue and one of the things that we are doing is that we have gotten a centre of excellence on diary in ATBU. Our target is to show to our brothers that the best way to keep your cattle is to keep it around your house, feed it well and you will find out that you don’t have to move around.
“The sense in it is that the more you move, the more you lose energy, the more you stay in one place,the more you grow fatter. We all want our cows to grow fatter to give higher production of milk,” the VC said.
“The university through research and development is trying to develop a science park. We have also gotten a centre of excellence in addressing social standard and procurement issues in this country.
“These are two issues that are fundamental in the survival of this country and when our social standard and procurement issues have been solved, it will help us to go a long way” he said
Abdulazeez also appreciated the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Suleiman Bogoro for organizing the workshop, noting that research and development will bring development and stability to the nation.