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TETFund supports four agencies to produce pharmaceuticals

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, says it will be providing “mega research support” to four public agencies, led by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, NIPRD, for the purpose of producing drugs.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, disclosed this during a virtual meeting on Institutionalisation of R&D in Nigeria’s Pharmaceutical Subsector Thematic Group, which coincided with the one year anniversary of the establishment of the TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee, RDSC.

Prof Bogoro, noted that the NIPRD will collaborate with the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria, Ibadan to carry out research and production of phytomedicine.

“TETFund will be providing mega research support to some agencies; in a matter of days, maximum one or two weeks thereabouts, who knows even before the end of this week, I may be sitting with about four entities that have been identified.

“And I am happy to mention here that NIPRD will be leading the mega research thrust in respect of drug development and I intend to request that they work with one or two entities,” he said.

Speaking on the institutional arrangement of the proposed National Research and Development Foundation, NRDF, he said the foundation would be subsumed under the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, when it is established, stating that the agency would not be domiciled in a single ministry.

The TETFund boss expressed belief that activities of the RDSC  are gradually and firmly transforming perceptions about research in the country, adding that the committee was changing people’s opinions about the appropriate direction that the country must take, going forward.

“I cannot remember to the best of my recollection, at any time in our country, where the issue of institutionalisation of R&D, the triple helix concept, the deepening of research, the emphasis on problem solving research, rather than status acquiring research, has become the topic in almost every engagement, private and public.

“That is exactly what it was intended and I took note of the very well placed acknowledgement of all of you, the leadership and members of RDSC and the great patriotic contributions.

Chairman of TETFund Research and Development Standing Committee, RDSC, Prof Njidda Gadzama, who delivered the anniversary speech at the meeting, said since its inauguration on September 24, 2020, the committee which comprises of 165 members and 13 thematic groups, has produced about 32 different reports.

Prof Gadzama said although the committee’s work was done during very difficult times, under COVID-19, it paid advocacy visits to several appropriate bodies and agencies with visible R&D outputs in Nigeria, adding that such visits have consolidated its thinking that the new paradigm of knowledge based economy would enhance the GDP of Nigeria.

“And judging by the commitment of members and their drive to succeed, coupled with the convener’s dogged determination in ensuring development of R&D backed knowledge economy for Nigeria, we have gone very far in our assignment. Many milestones have been achieved and about 32 different reports are in the custody of TCT. he said.

Reporting by Daniel Adejo.