OON Award: Bogoro’s unforgettable legacies at TETfund come to fore -By Fatai Ibrahim

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“The more we are humbled by grace, the more we shall be exalted by glory” – Charles Haddon Spurgeon

*Photo: Prof Bogoro*

The recent nomination of Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, the immediate past Executive Secretary of TETFUND, a great apostle of Research & Development, by President Muhammed Buhari (GCFR) is a welcome development. There is no doubt that this sagacious and erudite scholar was duly recognised and awarded the prestigious Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) national honour by the president for his immense and invaluable contributions in deepening research and development geared towards knowledge-driven economy and innovative technology in our ivory towers. This action by the president is quite, apt and legendary.

The tenure of Professor Bogoro as TETfund cannot be wished away as it remained the golden era of the board with numerous achievements which had direct impact on the students in the ivory towers and with attendant human, infrastructural and material development to the glory of God and to the benefit of humanity. Bogoro’s tenure placed a high premium on research and development and it is not a surprise that since he left, his imprints have remained on the sands of time which is glaring for all to see.

It was Shiv Khera, an Indian author and activist, who said “Success is no mystery”. With this in mind, Bogoro’s tenure achieved so much because of its consistency in applying some basic principles that are in consonance with the Change Agenda of Buhari’s administration in supporting research and development and putting Nigeria on the global map. It is in view of this that the former TETfund boss said “In spite of the fact that research and development is central to a country’s development, in Nigeria there is absence of a national platform for the regulations and strengthening of research and development. It is in this vein that TETfund under my leadership propelled by my vision continues to advocate for the establishment by law, a National Research and Development Foundation that will ensure a coordinated national framework for the sustenance and implementation of R&D, such foundation when established shall promote an effective interface between universities, government and the private sector especially the industrial sub-sector of the economy.”

He went further, “In Nigeria today, outside the National Research Fund from TETfund, there is no other visible research funding outfit and that was why we created a research fund and centres of excellence and we are determined that a Committee will be put in place in the next two years to work with government and advise it on the idea of establishing a National R&D Foundation for Nigeria, cross cutting, cross disciplinary research platform that will look at funding of research in research communities as well as tertiary institutions led by universities.”

It was in this direction that the chairman, Economic Advisory Council to President Muhammed Buhari, Dr Doyin Salam, poured encomiums on Professor Bogoro for his sterling and visionary leadership at TETfund. Dr Salam described TETFUND under Bogoro as a shift from infrastructure to content development and a worthwhile development that needs to be intensified to build manpower and capacities in Nigeria educational institutions geared towards solving national problems. The key research areas of Bogoro’s TETfund included but not limited to capacity building, peace studies, agriculture, food security, power and energy information and communication technology, telecommunication, entrepreneurship, environmental issues and wealth creation.

“The most successful leader of all leaders is one who sees another picture not yet actualized”, that was the saying Mary Parker Follet (1868-1933) regarded as the ‘mother of modern management’. Follet was one of the first theorists to actively write about and explore the role of people in effective management and importance of learning in promoting positive human relations. Bogoro who holds a title, The Ekwueme of Aboh Mbaise (a man of his word), a great teacher who has never stopped learning said more of his achievements at TETfund, “We have planted TETfund on international map, we have gone far ,working our protocols to eventually sign memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Fulbright Scholarship .They told us very clearly that they took time to evaluate and assess TETfund under my watch and they characterized it as a credible organisation, even in managing scholarship as it were, both locally and overseas and they felt this a credible partner they can work with.”

Also under the leadership of Professor Elias Bogoro’s TETfund, the Fund also emerged as the only organisation that was picked by the Commonwealth Science Granting Council in the entire sub Sahara Africa for its remarkable feats and giant strides in research and development. So, it did not come as a surprise that the OON award bestowed on this great Nigerian by the president is as a result of Bogoro’s tenacity and total commitment in deepening research geared towards knowledge-based economy and technology innovation. His legacies can also be seen in the academic staff training and development when he said, “In academic staff training and development under my watch, we have scholars funded exclusively by TETfund for Master’s and PhDs programmes across the world. There is no part of the world where you don’t find our scholars.”

In justifying Bogoro’s tenacity to the course of research and academic staff training in far away United States of America in March this year and like a prophet not recognised at home, the Morgan State University in a document released on 18th March 2o22 and signed by Prof. Hakeem Tijani, Office of the Global Partnership in Africa, titled “Prof Suleiman Elias Bogoro we know”, said “He secured 25 percent tuition fees discount on each student sent for the post graduate studies, also secure waivers too on GMAT, TOEFL, no 3rd party evaluation of transcript. He as well started a postdoctoral training for Faculty Staff across tertiary institutions in Nigeria sent to us. He established vibrant R & D with our institution exposing Nigerians to resources and knowledge in the emerging knowledge economy and started professorial visiting positions at Morgan State University amongst others.”

With the conferment of the prestigious OON honour award on Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, a great son of Nigeria, an indefatigable apostle of national unity and integration, a bridge builder as well as an illustrious son of Africa, it is our hope this award will bring more good tidings to you and your entire family in your greater service to humanity, Nigeria, Africa and the world at large. It is our fervent prayer that soon you will be recommended for a United Nations job as an embodiment of knowledge and based on your achievements at TETfund. Surely, yours is “the Golden era of TETfund.”

*Ibrahim is a former President, Kwara State Students, University of Abuja

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