COVID-19: Buhari approves special research funding of 6 varsities

By Felix Khanoba

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved funding of six Medical Simulation, Research and Training Facilities in Universities’ Colleges of Medicine, through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

The facilities would aid the setting up of Molecular Science Laboratories with capacity for testing and diagnosing COVID-19, Lassa Fever and other related viral diseases.

TETFund, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, had directed the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, to select a university in each of the six geo-political zones, where the projects would be executed.

The statement signed by TETFund’s Director of Public Affairs, Mrs Ngoba Briggs, said the agency had also been mandated to establish 12 Medical Centres of Excellence to be hosted by first, second, and third-generation universities.

She added that Adamu had emphasised that, besides ongoing research work in response to COVID-19 and similar diseases through the TETFund National Research Fund (NRF), the Research Community of the ministry should undertake any other sundry contributions.

Briggs said the centres of excellence, according to the directive, would be distributed in such a way that two must be sited in each geo-political zone.

In a similar statement, Mr Buhari Mikailu, Director, Physical Infrastructure Development, TETFund, said additional centres of excellence would be sited in state universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in subsequent years’.

Mikailu said areas of focus of the centres of excellence, in line with contemporary practice and technologies, were mainly in science-based disciplines.

He said the approval was initiated through the recommendation of the fund’s Board of Trustees (BoT), and endorsement of the education minister.

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