Governor Caleb Mutfwang of Plateau State has joined his colleagues in applauding the efforts of the management of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in boosting teaching and learning.
He also extolled the government’s foresight in establishing the Fund, noting that it has played a significant role in the development of both state and federal tertiary institutions.
Mutfwang, who recently paid a courtesy call on the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, admitted that tertiary education in the country would have been in a sorry state without TETFund interventions. According to him, Plateau State institutions have greatly benefitted from the Fund.
He stated that the purpose of his visit to TETFund, which was his first to any federal parastatal since confirmation as governor by the Supreme Court, was to express appreciation to the management of the Fund for the tremendous support it has provided to the state institutions and also to seek increased funding towards educational development.
“This is the first federal parastatal I am visiting after being confirmed as governor. I am delighted to once again have the freedom to face the issue of governance headlong. I chose to come to TETFund because of the importance of this institution to our educational development. I salute the foresight of those that came up with this institution. We say thank you,” the governor said.
Seeking further support from the Fund, the governor noted that his administration had also done a little within the seven months of its inauguration to ensure that it secured accreditation for some institutions and boost staff morale; while hoping to do more.
Responding, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Echono congratulated the governor on his electoral victory and expressed commitment towards partnering with Plateau State in realising its vision of transforming education.
Echono reiterated that the Fund has recorded improvement in project delivery in beneficiary institutions, not only in Plateau State but also across the country.
Speaking on research, the Executive Secretary revealed that beneficiary institutions in Plateau State showed great potential by being part of winners of the 2023 TETFund National Research Fund (NRF) Grant of over N5.1 billion approved by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu in January 2024.
Accordingly, he advised that being a state exceedingly wealthy in natural and agricultural resources, carrying out research tailored towards agricultural products would go a long way in alleviating food insecurity in the country.
Recall that in continuation of efforts towards boosting research and development for economic and technological development in Nigeria, Mr. President recently approved the sum of N5,128,180,623.63 for the funding of 185 successful research proposals under the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) National Research Fund (NRF) 2023 Grant Cycle.
The approval was conveyed by the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, following the report of the TETFund National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee (NRFS&MC), which recommended the funding of the 185 research proposals after a rigorous screening exercise which commenced in March 2023 with the receipt of 4,287 Concept Notes from prospective applicants.
A breakdown of the approval indicated that the sum of N3,784,635,923.00 was approved for the Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) thematic group; N759,875,400.00 for Humanities and Social Science (HSS) while Cross Cutting (CC) received N583,669,300.63 with individual grants ranging between N8 million and over N46 million.
Some of the approved research works according to their thematic groups include: Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation (SETI) Application of the hydro-biogeochemical framework to develop a National Rural Water Quality Assurance Plan for sustainable water quality management in Nigeria; development and use of Doubled Haploid Maize Lines for improved maize yield and tolerance to armyworm (Spodoptera Frugiperda); development of an Intelligent Multichamber Evaporative Cooling Preservative System for post-harvest storage of selected fruits in Nigeria and the development of Electric Vehicle with Special Tracking Features.
Under Cross Cutting, there is the development of a Cocktail of Novel Thermostable Recombinant Lignin Degrading Enzymes from Lignolytic Bacteria Genome for Biofuel production from sugarcane bagasse; utilisation of scrap tires and plastic wastes as aggregate conductive material for renewable energy storage system; development of appropriate technology for production of Aluminum Alloy Sacrificial Anodes for applications in the country’s oil and gas industry. This group also includes the development of an Economical Low Voltage Programmable Electroporator and Investigation of Pulse Electric Field for wound healing and cancer Treatment among others.
Humanities and Social Science include Digital Financial Inclusion, Rural Households’ Consumption Structure and Well-being in Nigeria Equity and Inclusion. This entails creating access to library resources for students living with vision impairment in e-learning environment in Nigerian universities; Mitigating Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder among Frontline Nigerian Army Personnel using Stress Inoculation Therapy and others.
The National Research Fund (NRF) Grant was introduced by TETFund to encourage cutting-edge research, which explores research areas relevant to societal needs of Nigeria such as power and energy, health, security, agriculture, employment and wealth creation in line with its mandate.
The intervention received additional impetus under the Renewed Hope Agenda of the present administration as a veritable tool to grow the economy and improve the standards of living of the Nigerian people.