Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has selected the University of Lagos, University of Abuja and ten other Nigerian universities as the pioneer Centres of Excellence to define the path for transformation of Tertiary Institutions.
Speaking at the inauguration of the twelve maiden Centres of Excellence (TCoEs), Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, Executive Secretary, TETFund, said the objective was to address a specific national development challenge through the preparation of professionals, applied research and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services.
Bogoro also disclosed that the board would fund the twelve Centres with a grant of one billion (N1 billion) each for five years to enable them attain national aspirations.
According to him, two selected centres in each of the six geopolitical zones of the country were expected to ensure the strengthening and sustainability of the Centres beyond the year 2025.
”In the north-central, the University of Abuja was selected as the Centre of Excellence in Public Governance and Leadership and Food security respectively.
”Northeast has Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, TETFind Centre of Excellence in food security and the University of Maiduguri, Centre of Excellence in Arid Zone Research and Development while Northwest has Usman Dan Fodio University, Sokoto, Centre of Excellence in Urology and Nephrology and Bayero University, Kano, in Renewable Energy.
”Others are, south-east; the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Root Crop Research, Development and Agriculture Transitional Studies respectively.
“Moreso, in the south, University of Benin and the University of Uyo got Centres of Excellence in Aquaculture and Food Technology and Computational Intelligence and Multi-Disciplinary Studies respectively, while the south-west has the university of Ibadan and the University of Lagos in Biodiversity Conservation and Ecosystem Management,” he said.
The TETFund boss further revealed that the first batch of the institutions were carefully selected while assuring of the boards unflinching support towards the realisation of the objectives of the initiative.
“The conceptual framework for Centres of Excellence is unlikely to be unfamiliar, alien or even novel to most of you here. Nevertheless, a Strategic Framework and Establishment Guidelines for TETFund Centres of Excellence, as approved by the TETFund Board of Trustees will be made available to all of you.
“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 partner, especially community services.
“Within that prism, institutions will have the autonomy to implement their own institution-specific proposals to enhance capacity to deliver national high-quality training to address development challenges,” he added.