As the federal government’s re-negotiation bid with Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), continued over how to improve working conditions in universities in the country, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has disclosed that state and federal university teachers have accessed N1.7 billion for research activities in the last six years.
The amount is part of the N3 billion earmarked in 2011 for academic staff under the National Research Fund (NRF) for federal and state public universities by TETFund, but still not accessed completely by the university teachers.
Executive Secretary of the Fund, Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, who disclosed this yesterday at a sensitisation meeting organised for staff of Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), added that this was introduced to support cutting-edge research in critical national needs and development.
“So far, N1.7billion has been accessed by lecturers to finance their research activities, he said, adding that a total of 74 research projects were ongoing in different part of the country, even as it had allocated funds no more than N2 billion for Institution Based Research (IBR).
Represented by the Director, Executive Secretary office, Barr Ifiok Ukim, the ES further disclosed that remarkable progress had been made in staff training and development, stressing that as at May this year, a total of 17, 482 academic staff have been sponsored by TETFund for Masters and Ph.D courses in top universities in the country and abroad.
“For this conference attendance intervention programme, a total of 42, 120 academic and non-academic staff have been sponsored to various conferences both within and outside the country within the same period. The Fund has also financed 28, 512 teaching practice supervisors in order to boost teaching practice and enhance teacher development in the country”, he said.
On the level of intervention, Baffa said for the 2016 session, universities have received N N.009 billion, polytechnics N 691.63 million and colleges of education N679 million as against N337 million, N250 million and N227 million disbursed in 2015 for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education, respectively.
The disbursement formula, according to him is based on ratio 2: 1: 1: among universities, polytechnics and colleges of education.