President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the funding of six medical simulation, research and training facilities in six colleges of medicine through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The first set of the institutions, which will focus on research in science-based disciplines, will be hosted by federal universities.
The facilities will see to the setting up of molecular science laboratories with capacity for testing and diagnostics of COVID-19, Lassa fever and related viral diseases.
Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu has directed the Executive-Secretary (ES) of TETFund, Prof. Suleiman Bagoro, to select a university in each of the six geo-political zones where the projects would be executed.
TETFund has been mandated to establish 12 medical centres of excellence to be hosted by first, second and third generation universities. Two of the centres of excellence, according to the directive, will be sited in each of the six geo-political zones for spread and accessibility.
The Director, Physical Infrastructure Development, TETfund, Buhari Mikailu, said in a statement that those in state universities, polytechnics and colleges of education will follow in ”subsequent years.”
“The focus areas of the Centres of Excellence, in line with contemporary practice in the more competitive economies and technologies, are mainly in science-based disciplines,” the minister said.
“The approval, which came upon the recommendation of TETFund Board of Trustees (BOT) and endorsement of the Honourable Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, is to signify a major paradigm shift in favour of Research and Excellence in our Universities, but also demonstrate that Federal Government has decided to directly establish and fund Centres of Excellence besides the ones funded by the World Bank, being the African Centres of Excellence (ACE),” he said
He said details of the operations and guidelines for the inaugural TETFund Centres of Excellence will be issued by the Fund.
In a separate statement, the Director, Public Affairs, TETfund, Ngoba Briggs, said the organisation is also sponsoring simulation, research and training centres in Colleges of Medicine.
The publicity secretary who decried the poor attitude of the Federal Government towards research funding in the country, lamented that“while other countries are pouring money into research, the PTF on COVID-19 is busy grandstanding in front of microphones holding sterile press conferences.”
“If there is any research that is being supported by the so-called PTF, let them tell the world. The so-called Madagascar cure, which has not been subjected to any standard trial, is being imported by the PTF, while Nigerian researchers are ignored when they make requests for funding. Meanwhile people are dying all over Nigeria. There is no sense of urgency,” the experts lamented.
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