The inability of most Nigerian professors to access Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, global grants for research may be due to poor research proposals, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Suleiman Bogoro, has said.
Bogoro said despite the growing number of Nigerian professors, which is said to be about 8000, many professors have low capacity to write quality research proposals.
According to Mr Bogoro, some of the proposals coming to TETFund “make one to wonder if some of these professors in question are actually the principal investigators in the proposal.”
He said about 80 per cent (proposals) are ‘condemned’ because they are poor.
“I have been in some platforms overseas where some Nigerian professors have been invited and they were reluctant to climb the podium because they wanted to get PhD at that stage. It is the title that bothers them not the knowledge,” he said.
“Now they have wangled their way to top professors, but give them the topmost platform in the world, they won’t want to climb because they will misrepresent the title they are carrying. This is a challenge to us,” he said.
Mr Bogoro made this shocking revelation while speaking at an interactive session with directors of research of Nigerian universities in Abuja on Wednesday.
The event organised by the National Universities Commission (NUC) had the theme “Bolstering Research Impact and Relevance through Systematic Research Governance in Nigeria”.
Speaking on the availability of TETFund, Bogoro said N10 million is available for all beneficiary institutions for capacity building and training for research proposal writing.
“I insist that it will be made available to Vice Chancellors, Provosts to create a week-long training to improve the capacities of our researchers in proposal writing so that we can win grants,” he said.
Mr Bogoro said Nigerian universities have dwelled too long on teaching rather than research.
The TETfund boss said most of the country’s research is only for promotion and not for assessing societal ills.