The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has awarded over N30 million research grants to staff of the Federal University, Birnin Kebbi (FUBK), under the 2021 TETFund National Research Fund (NRF) Intervention.
This was contained in the two award letters addressed to the Vice Chancellor of the university by the Executive Secretary, Arc. Sonny T. Echono. The TETFund NRF grant was awarded for a research titled “Impact of Schistosomiasis Chemotherapy on Enrolled and Out of School Children in Riverine Communities of Rima River North-Western Nigeria”, with Prof. Abbas Yusuf Bazata of the Department of Microbiology, as the Principal Researcher. The research duration, according to the award letter, is 18 months.
The second NRF award was for a research titled “Application of Integrated Model Framework for the Improvement of Groundwater Quality Management in Sokoto Basin, Nigeria: Implication for Human Health,” with Prof. Kabiru Jega Umar of the Department of Chemistry as the Principal Researcher. The execution period of the research, based on the award letter, is 21 months.
The principal researchers have written acceptance letters to the Fund, pledging their unwavering commitment to effectively lead their respective research teams for the successful completion of the researches.
In another development, four staff of the university have been selected for a one-year Tertiary Education Trust Fund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR) programme to develop an Agricultural Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) drone, in a highly competitive selection process.
The revelation was made in an invitation letter addressed to the FUBK Vice Chancellor, signed by the Director, Research and Development/Centres of Excellence Department, Dr. Salihu G. Bakari, on behalf of the Executive Secretary.
The beneficiaries are Prof. Isah Garba, Department of Mathematics, Prof. Abdulaziz Shehu, Department of Economics, Dr. Abubakar Musa Shinkafi, ICT Centre and Abubakar Muhammad Hashim, Department of Computer Science. The team would be invited 3 – 5 times to Innov8 hub, Abuja where they would have access to high-end technology, machinery and expertise for the development of a physical and functioning prototype of their ideas.
The yearlong programme also includes online content and courses to support the product development journey, in addition to training and mentorship on the business/entrepreneurship aspect of the project. The team members have already attended the first boot camp, which took place from December 4 to 14, 2022, in Abuja.
The TETFAIR is a yearlong programme, sponsored by TETFund. TETFAIR provides unique opportunity for researchers and academics in Nigerian universities to transform their ideas into market-driven solutions, including the development and fabrication of prototypes. Selected teams of researchers and academics with ideas for innovative solutions in areas of focus would be taken through a journey that combines technology and product development along with venture creation.
Commenting on the developments, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Zaiyan Umar, congratulated the beneficiaries for their successes. He enjoined other academic staff to come up with more initiatives and fundable research proposals that would impact lives of immediate community and the country in general.
The vice chancellor further maintained that the university would continue to support researches, workshops, seminars and other academic activities aimed at stimulating the academic community to optimally contribute to the development of society.