The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro has lamented what he described as “an unacceptable” low appetite for research among academic lecturers across tertiary institutions of the North East.
Professor Bogoro who was speaking during the North East Zonal Meeting on National Research Fund, NRF, which took place at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi lamented that despite enormous research grants available at the NRF, only six proposals in the region attracted grant.
“The facts and figures, as well as indices and metrics all together paint a gloomy picture for NRF, grant access, utilisation and outcomes for the North East geopolitical zone.
“I’m sure, you will agree with me, that a situation where the North East zone, which hosts 33 eligible beneficiary institutions, accounting for 15% of the total number of beneficiary institutions nationwide, has only produced 12 fundable research projects out of the 240 from inception to date, can only be described as dire”, Boro stated.
Bogoro said the entire academics who showed interest on research in the north east attractive the sum of N302,644,137 which represents 4.5% out of the N6,708,367,736.25 total grants allocated.
The TETFUND Boss described the situation as “disheartening and gloomier”, arguing that the dismal performance by the North East zone regarding research is unacceptable.
“As we look forward to changing the narrative of the lethargic underperformance of the North East with respect to research and development activity in general and NRF in particular, with the doomsday scenario this portends, I hasten to draw your attention to the huge burden of expectation that will inevitably come with whetting the appetite of our budding researchers, academics and all other stakeholders in the region”, Bogoro added.
In terms of percentage distribution of research grants across the six geopolitical zones of Nigeria from 2012 to 2019, the north east accounts for only 5%, which remains the lowest.
He said the South West has the highest percentage, which stood at 36%, North West, 23%, North Central, 17%, South East, 10% while South-South accounts for 9%.
Bogoro challenges academic institutions in the north east, to, as a matter of urgency turn the ugly situation “with immediate effect.”