The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund said research grants to universities will be doubled this year.
TETFund Executive Secretary, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, said the approvals would be increased from the over 128 given in 2020.
He said the new approvals would be made public once the Board of Trustees gives its nod.
He disclosed this when a contingent of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, NIPS, Kuru, Senior Executive Course 43, 2021, visited him in Abuja on Tuesday.
Bogoro said qualified institutions will draw a maximum of N50 million research grants from the N7.5 billion National Research Fund, NRF.
The TETFund boss said in the 2021 budget, which is awaiting approval, the agency will fund the establishment of more molecular labs and research on gene sequencing and phytogenic medicine.
It will also fund vaccine research and production, as a key area of unravelling the lethal COVID-19 pandemic.
According to him, under the instruction of President Muhammadu Buhari, the fund provided research intervention between N250 to N300 million to set up at least a quarter of the molecular labs established in the country.
“We discovered that those facilities are helpful for both research and clinical purposes and the facilities will help sustain medical research in the country.”
The TETFund boss also stated that the funds were meant for some medical research institutes and colleges for the purpose of research.
Noting that most university lecturers in the country currently have PhDs, Bogoro stressed that only 40 percent of university lecturers had PhDs nine years ago.
He added that by 2015, over 60 percent of lecturers in Nigeria’s universities acquired PhDs.
Bogoro pointed out that TETFund provided over 80 percent of libraries in public tertiary institutions across the country.