The Federal Government has given approval for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to increase research fund under the National Research Fund (NRF) scheme to N8billion.
It disclosed that Tetfund had established centres of excellence in several universities in the country and working on the draft Bill for the Establishment of the National Research and Development Foundation.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this weekend at the 33rd convocation ceremony of the Federal University of Technology Owerri (FUTO) during which he charged the nation’s universities to redesign their curricula and programmes by infusing relevant training and vocations that are relevant to solve specific societal problems.
The President, who spoke through the Minister of State for Education, Chukwuemeka Nwajiuba, noted that the redesign of curricula would enable the nation’s graduates to remain relevant to the economy and competitive in the world.
Buhari, who stressed the importance of universities of technology in the country, said that they should take the lead in championing research, adding that the Federal Government “is committed in promoting researches that are relevant in transforming the nation’s fortunes and boosting national development.”
He warned that the habit of looking up to the developed countries for solutions to specific problems in the country would further impoverish the nation and make her dependent on foreign countries for progress and development with dire consequences.
“Our universities parade finest and smartest scholars who can change the narrative and place our country on the front burner of innovators in the global arena and I encourage our scholars to collaborate with research institutes in the country for effective research output”.
The President congratulated the Governing Council, management, staff and students of FUTO on the approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) for the establishment of a college of medicine in the institution.