The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has donated a molecular diagnostic and research laboratory to the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.

The donation, according to the funding agency, is aimed at empowering research institutions with the required capacity to contribute meaningfully to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic and other infectious diseases.

In a statement issued by the university’s director of corporate affairs, Kunle Akogun, said the facility was inaugurated by TETFund’s Executive Secretary, Suleman Bogoro.

He said the laboratory has received the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control’s (NCDC) certification as a public health laboratory for the diagnosis of COVID-19 and the surveillance of other infectious diseases like poliomyelitis, Lassa Fever and other viral haemorrhagic fevers.

According to Akogun, while flagging off the facility, Mr Bogoro, a professor, said the university has produced the “most successful TETFund-sponsored researches in the country for several years, describing the institution’s College of Health Sciences as one of the best rated health training institutions in the country.”

He said Mr Bogoro pointed out that quality of personnel, research infrastructure and relevance of research outcome to the society are the parameters that determine the strength of a university, and that the University of Ilorin is number one when those parameters are considered.

The official also noted that TETFund is working to curb brain drain by providing infrastructure and research facilities to discourage Nigerians from going abroad where those facilities are available.

He said TETFund is putting research into perspective to ensure that research contributes to national development while advising tertiary institutions to seek complementary funding as TETFund is only an intervention agency.

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