The University of Ibadan has obtained the sum of N1bn for the funding of a diaspora research centre, the Tertiary Education Trust Fund and the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission said in a jointly signed statement on Thursday.

The two agencies said it was part of the plans to fund Education Centres and facilities for the Nigerians in the diaspora to foster knowledge exchange, fellowship, research, and transnational projects.

The Chairman of NIDCOM, Abike Dabiri in the statement disclosed that “TETFund followed through with the commitment by earmarking 1 billion naira for the establishment of Diaspora Research Centre in University of Ibadan, one of Nigeria’s most prestigious tertiary institutions. The Diaspora Research Centre will be the first of its kind in Africa with immense potential to shape the landscape of research and development in the continent.”

She intimated the management of TETFund that NIDCOM was in contact with the University of Ibadan, where the Diaspora Research Centre is to be sited to discuss groundwork, models and implementation plans on the completion of the project.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono commended the Commission for their nation-building efforts and advocacy for collaboration on research. According to the TETFund Boss, the Diaspora Research Centre to be domiciled in the University of Ibadan followed the recommendation of NIDCOM.

The Executive Secretary added that “an allocation of 1 Billion Naira was provided in the Fund’s 2023 budgetary allocation under the Special Intervention Initiative of the Fund for the establishment of Diaspora Center for Research and Development.

“The allocation letter was given to the University of Ibadan in May 2023, with a recommendation that the Institution submits implementation plan for the effective take-off of activities.”

While re-emphasizing TETFund efforts and commitment to research and development, Echono announced that an additional sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Million Naira was also allocated to the University of Ibadan under the 2023 budgetary allocation (Designated Projects) as fund assistance for Global Research Centre at the institution.

The Executive Secretary while stating the importance of the facility to the global research community expressed that “The Centre is proposed to house a rich collection of African Diaspora and Transnational Studies resources, including textbooks, archival documents, audio and video tapes, online resources, microfilms and other related materials. It is as well intended to serve as a flagship scientific hub for teaching, research, and other academic activities related to diaspora and transnational studies.

“The proposal indicates that the proposed facility shall be an incubator for hosting experts, practitioners, and policy professionals with interest and experience in research, including hosting fellowship and exchange programmes to produce truly globally impactful diaspora and transnational knowledge.”

Stressing further on the purpose of the research centre, he expressed his optimism that the facility will drive collaborations and interface sessions with local and foreign policy formulating institutions.

Echono while briefing on the implementation plan from the host Institution stated explicitly that “The University of Ibadan is presently perfecting plans for signing of the MOU with NIDCOM, which is the collaborating institution that has been interfacing with TETFund on Diaspora Centre of Excellence project together with NIDCOM. The University has also initiated the search for a TETFund-accredited firm to set about the design of the structure in conformity with the value of the awarded grant while interfacing with the University of Ibadan.”

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