The Ministry of Finance has authorized the Controller and Accountant General to open an account for the Research and Innovation Facility for Tertiary Institutions and transfer an amount of GH¢3,750,000.00 into it.
This amount represents 25 per cent of the GH¢15,000,000.00 set aside in the 2014 Budget Statement and Economic Policy for this facility. This replaces the book and research allowances normally paid to lecturers in the country and it is to encourage more research work in tertiary institutions; whilst realizing its full benefits.
It would be recalled that during the presentation of the 2014 Budget Statement, the Hon Minister of Finance, said that Government has decided to set up this facility to replace the book and research allowance. (Refer to page 185 of 2014 Budget Statement)
The Ministry of Education was then tasked to develop guidelines for the operationalization of the facility whiles engaging stakeholders on exploring other sources of making the facility sustainable.
Last year, government announced to abolish the Book and Research allowances being enjoyed by University lecturers.
Instead, government considered merging all the research allowances into one to be known as, the “National Research Fund”.
Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, the Deputy Minister of Education, in-charge of Tertiary Education, said “instead of spreading the research allowance to individual lecturers, such that one gets GHc500 or GHc600 which cannot do any serious research, we are putting all of them together.”
He said the US$7 million, which government spends yearly as book and research allowance, would be incorporated into the fund, for which lecturers or students would have to present research proposals for approval, before disbursement.
According to him Ghana is among the few countries in the world which do not have such a fund.