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TETFund: Investing To Revamp Nigeria’s Tertiary Education Sector




PERMIT me to start this piece with a quote from the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro. He once said: “We have antecedents in this country that when education is given premium, it will yield dividends”. 

It is worthy of note to profess that tertiary education in Nigeria has gone through turbulent times and it is against this backdrop that the activities of TETFund comes to the fore.  Needless to mention that tertiary education in Nigeria is bedeviled by a lot of pitfalls from lack of infrastructural facilities to the absence of human capacity, just to mention but a few. 

All these notwithstanding, I have come to realise that the Fund is poised to keep tertiary institutions on the path of academic excellence and competitive standards. This piece would take a critical look at the activities of the Fund and how such actions have remedied some of the inherent challenges faced by our institutions. 

The Fund as it were today has spent much on lecturers’ capacity building to facilitate academic staff programmes. These programmes to a greater extent would shore up intellectual capacities of the academicians, particularly that of those who have gone rustic. Again, the move to acquire library books and e–resources by TETFund is another welcome development. Besides the fact that this acquisition would go a long way to reignite the use of libraries for reading purposes, this move would also deepen our institutions’ focus on academic content, quality and excellence. I am of the strong opinion that the managers of the Fund strongly believe that the acquisition of these libraries and e–resources would encourage research activities, which in the long run would impact positively on the nation. It is imperative to state here that the developed nations of the world hinge their economic growth and development on research and developmental studies. 

Abigail Adams ones said, “learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence”.  When educating the minds of our youth, we must not forget to educate their hearts as well. The consolidation on schools’ infrastructure nationwide under the visionary and dynamic leadership of Prof. Bogoro is another step in a right direction. This would not only facilitate teaching and learning but also reduce the usual congestion of our lecture hall, thereby improving quality education. 

Health is wealth, so goes the popular maxim. The release of funds by TETFund to the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) to commence the building of a specialist hospital for the university’s School of Health Sciences is worthy of emulation. The hospital, to a great extent, will not only provide medicare to the general public but will also serve as practical laboratories for medical students. Furthermore, this would also enhance the training of medical personnel with modern equipment the facility will parade. Telemedicine, which is part of modern medicine, would be available to potentiate treatment, among others. 

As TEFFund ventures transition to knowledge economy and seeks to strengthen entrepreneurial studies in our tertiary institutions, the task ahead remains attainable. The intention of Prof. Bogoro and his management team in setting up TETFund zonal offices in the six geo-political zones of the country for administrative convenience is highly commendable and legendary. This would further be an opportunity of providing employments for our teaming youths. 

On a lighter note, I would like to urge Prof. Bogoro to ensure that funds disbursed to schools are properly supervised and expended on priority projects geared towards achieving the desired goals for which the agency was set up. I urge him to carry all stakeholders along as he delivers on this noble task. As Henry Ford puts it, “working together is success”. Our honourable Professor, “Your goal is closer than you think. Stay focused, keep your eyes on the prize and follow your heart” — Ricardo Honsham. 

Ibrahim, a public affairs analyst, writes from Abuja.

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