TETFund earmarks N12 billion for establishment of 12 additional centres of excellence

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has set aside the sum of N1 billion each for the establishment of twelve additional Centres of Excellence in tertiary institutions in Nigeria.

This brings to about 24 Centres of Excellence to be established by TETFund between 2020 and 2021.

The Agency had under the 2020 intervention, established 12 Centers of Excellence in universities. This year, 12 more Centers would be established evenly in 6 (six) polytechnics and Colleges of Education respectively.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, speaking at the inauguration of the 12 maiden Centres in Abuja, said two were selected in each geopolitical zone of the country and are to be funded for a period of 5 years.

The centres are; Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa, Federal College of Education, Pankshin (North Central), Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi, Federal College Education, Yola (North-East), Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna, Federal College of Education, Zaria (North-West), Federal Polytechnic, Nekede, Alvan Federal of Education, Owerri (South East), Federal Polytechnic, Auchi, Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku (South-South), Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and Adeyemi College Education, Ondo (South-West).

Inaugurating the centres, Bogoro charged them to hit the ground running by ensuring to strengthen the sustainability beyond the year 2026.

“Having been painstakingly selected to host the second batch of TEffund Centres of Excellence (ICots), Whist it is appropriate for each of you here to feel justifiably proud for being deemed worthy of selection from among dozens of eligible candidate institutions.

“I hasten to draw your attention to the huge burden of expectation that comes with your choice as the pioneer Beneficiary Institutions of this initiative with immense national significance.

“There is but one true path to socio-economic and technological advancement – R&D- and the new 12 TCoEs (2 in each geopolitical zone of Nigeria, which we are to fund for 5 years with a grant of one billion Naira (N1billion) each, will be at the heart of the mechanism for the attainment of our national aspirations,” he said.

The Executive Secretary noted that each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through the preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services.

He said one of the basic strategic aims for the establishment of Centres of Excellence is to support strategic and application-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial applications.

“This means supporting national and global competitive research and development in strategic and applied sciences (including medicine and Engineering) with the aim of generating innovations. This is usually done with a focus on government-defined priority areas, needed for technical development and industrial.

“Bringing together the complementary resources application. This includes concentrating multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and translational research competence in order to further the development of products, processes and services, typically by focusing on problems that demand larger efforts than can be provided by smaller projects.

“Bridging the gap between researchers and users, and stimulating and strengthening triple-helix relationships,’ he said.

For the six selected Polytechnics, Bogoro said the focus would be on technical skills development and entrepreneurship education, saying the lofty vision of lifting 100 million people out of poverty and addressing the challenge of graduate unemployment in the country are more pertinent today than ever.

“We, therefore, expect our TCEs in the six Polytechnics to imbibe some of the tried and tested approaches to enhancing entrepreneurship among students, such as their engagement in extracurricular or co curricula activities, ranging from training programs, business plan competitions to entrepreneurship clubs that play an indispensable role in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and expanding students’ involvement,” he said.

Similarly, he said the task before the six Colleges of Education selected to host TCOES is to specialize in pedagogy and periodic curriculum review and development.

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TETFund earmarks N12 billion for establishment of 12 additional centres of excellence

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