Nigeria needs cutting edge researches from varsities- TET Fund Boss

by Idris Sulaiman

Nigeria can only make expected impacts among the comity of nations and record remarkable development if its Ivory Towers produce cutting edge researches, Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, has said.

Dr. Baffa who stated this while delivering a Convocation Lecture titled “Research, Funding Higher Education and the Role of Universities” at the 25th and 26th Convocation ceremony of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, described research as the singular tool available to the scholar in the development and dissemination of new knowledge.

Represented by the Director Academic Staff Training and Development of the Fund, Dr.
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Jacob Alada, he urged government to make sustainable improvements in policy frameworks and adopt new management systems in order to overcome the various challenges inhibiting the carrying out of meaningful research work in Nigerian higher educational institutions.

“The adoption of new concepts and proven models from other progressive countries will go a long way in halting the decline in research activities in Nigerian higher educational institutions”, he said

Highlighting some models of funding that have been developed and adopted in the administration of higher educational institutions the world over, the lecturer pointed out that in view of the fact that there are more public owned higher institutions than privately owned ones in Nigeria, funding has been majorly carried out by government through such intervention funds as the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TET Fund) and Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) and others but that UBEC may be excused since it caters for lower level of education..

Speaking earlier, Vice-Chancellor of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Prof. Saburi Adesanya commended TETFund for its role in the provision of state of the art infrastructure in the university and other tertiary institutions in the country.

According to Professor Adesanya, the Olabisi Onabanjo University has witnessed unparalleled development in terms of provision of befitting physical infrastructure, facilities and equipment in all its campuses.

Expressing special thanks to the Management of TET Fund from the tenure of Professor Mahmood Yakubu, who is currently the INEC Chairman, down to the present Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr.
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Abdullahi Bichi Baffa for their interest in the university, the elated Vice Chancellor said that “Management has left no stone unturned towards rebuilding the University. The University has witnessed an unparalleled development in terms of befitting physical infrastructure, facilities and equipment in all campuses of the University”.

“To achieve the above, Management judiciously utilized the allocations from TE TFund, FGN-NEEDS and IGR to build befitting structures that now adorn the various campuses of the University. Presently, we have about 29 new building projects most of which had been completed and occupied while others are nearing completion. In fact, some of these buildings were commissioned as part of highlights of events for this Convocation Ceremony in the University, by the donors”.

“We must appreciate the efforts of our various donors whose valuable contributions had assisted the University in the past four and half years. I wish to specially thank the Management of TET Fund led by Prof. Mahmud, through to Dr. Baffa here present for their special interest in this University. They made us proud. They are my friends and Insha Allah; we shall continue to be so”, he added.
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Professor Adesanya further stated that the building projects embarked upon have succeeded in assisting the University to meet its accreditation needs as well as transforming the landscape and aesthetic value of the institution.

The Vice-Chancellor also added that the buildings have provided the much needed space for staff and students of the University for the smooth running of its academic activities noting that students and researchers are now able to conduct their researches in their various laboratories with less stress.

A total number of 5,450 graduands were awarded different degrees at the ceremony which attracted several dignitaries including Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Registrar of Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Professor Ishaq Oloyede, Director of Finance and Investment of TET Fund, Alh. Idris Saidu, Ag. Director, Education Support Services of TET Fund, Dr. Salihu Girei, Vice Chancellors from sister universities.