In line with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund’s (TETFund) drive for reforms and commitment to quality service delivery, the Executive Secretary of the Fund, Arc Sonny Echono has announced new policy approach in the agency’s processes and businesses.
He revealed this during an interactive meeting with Heads of TETFund beneficiary institutions in the country held at the National Universities Commission (NUC) Auditorium, Abuja.
The Executive Secretary explained that the meeting became necessary to input new ideas and discuss models for the 2023 interventions and beyond. He announced that the Fund is presently reviewing its guidelines for interventions and open to receiving inputs from stakeholders in order to improve its services.
According to the TETFund boss, the Agency aims at adopting a bottom-up approach for its intervention budget and the interactive meeting presented a good platform of getting feedback on the Fund’s interventions and various projects.
He intimated that ICT formed central focus of the Fund’s intervention for 2022 to equip beneficiary institutions with up-to-date skills in curriculum and instructional materials delivery, noting that the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the critical role of ICT for global and national development.
The Executive Secretary told participants that the Fund has embarked on strategic partnership with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to improve education tax collection, leading to a collection that has surpassed the targeted revenue.
The TETFund Boss revealed that Emergency and Disaster Management will form a new intervention line of the Fund, as some institutions are affected by natural disasters such as floods which damages materials that are vital to learning.
He also stated that the Fund aims at making specific provisions for distressed projects before embarking on new ones, while also accommodating the obvious need for security architecture such as perimeter fencing for some selected institutions that critically need them.
“In addition, the Fund is also making provisions for the establishment of Education Laboratory in Federal Colleges of Education, as well as a Centre of Excellence for Diaspora Research in partnership with Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM) to be sited in University of Ibadan to provide platforms for Nigerians who have succeeded outside to share experiences and knowledge with those at home.”, Echono said.
Participants at the forum advocated for attention to be given to TETFund scholars, especially the refusal of some beneficiaries of the scholarship intervention to return to the country to service their bond. They also appealed that consideration should be given to the merits of having a centralized system for research grants in the country.
The Chief Executives of the various tertiary institutions equally charged the Fund to consider introducing CCTV cameras to TETFund sponsored buildings, while stressing that the benefits of the book development intervention project of the Fund should be extended to authors as only publishers get benefits.
In attendance were the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC); Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed, Executive Secretary of National Board for Technical Education (NBTE); Prof. Idris M. Bugaje; Executive Secretary of National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE); Prof. Paulinus Okwelle among others.