September 29, 2014 – The Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola today disbursed N71,119,500 to seven institutions of higher learning as research grants.
The benefitting institutions are, the University of Lagos, UNILAG, the Lagos state University, LASU, Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta Ogun state, UNAAB, Caleb University Lagos, Yaba College of Technology, Lagos and the African Languages Technology Initiative.
Sectors attracting the fund are agriculture, education, environmental science, ICT as well as manufacturing. Others are Power and energy generation, finance, water and creative arts.
A breakdown of the money shows that N28.4 million was allocated to UNILAG for fourteen research proposals, LASU got N25, 750,000 for twelve proposals, UNAAB got about three million for one proposal, while Caleb University, and Yabatech also got over two million each for single proposals and a grant of eight million Naira was allocated to the African Languages Technology Initiative to develop a Yoruba speech synthesizer. Funds for the research, covering ten sectors were handed over to Vice-Chancellors and other representatives of the benefitting institutions at a ceremony in Alausa Ikeja.
Speaking at the occasion, Fashola said the fund is the first part of N142, 239,000 approved for research in the state budget adding that application of the funds would be monitored, and challenged academics in the country to prove their mettle by accessing the grant which is open to all Nigerians.
He noted that most researches on issues affecting Africa are carried out outside the continent and specifically called on Professor Maurice Iwu to reopen his research on Ebola drug and submit his proposals to the Lagos Research and Development Council.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Council, Professor Olufemi Bamiro said one hundred and thirty seven proposals were received while thirty from the benefitting institutions were shortlisted after painstaking scrutiny
Responding on behalf of beneficiaries, the Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Professor John Obafunwa assured that the fund would be applied judiciously.
It will be recalled that the ten-member Research and Development Council was inaugurated in September 2012 to identify and fund ideas to address the developmental needs of the state.