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Minister of Education Receives TETFund Ad hoc Committees’ Reports …Says Govt Will Stop Funding of Non-Performing Centres of Excellence

adhoc committee

The Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman has received the reports of the TETFund ad hoc Committees on Assessment/Review of TETFund Centres of Excellence and that of the Operationalization of Skills Development Special Intervention, warning that Government will stop the funding of Centres of Excellence that do not meet expectations.

While stating that productivity was key if the centres desired continuous funding from Government, Prof. Mamman assured that those that have performed well would be encouraged to expand the scope of their activities or get all needed support in specializing their operations.

“The Government is encouraging our scholars to simply rise to the occasion and deliver their scholarship as world class scholars should do, we are not going to reward indolence. We cannot be giving free money to institutions that are not doing what they are supposed to do.

“We are really committed to doing things differently, we also want to raise the equipment level in our tertiary institutions so that they can provide all the skill sets needed in Nigeria in the highest quality that can service the country locally and internationally,” he said.

Speaking on the reasons for the establishment of the Centres, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono explained that the Fund figured that there were not enough resources available to fund and improve facilities in all tertiary institutions at once. Hence, the idea was to establish one Centre across geopolitical zones and equip it with the right facilities.

“The idea was to incubate, to have one Centre, the right equipment, the right tools and the right faculty and experts that will lead our efforts in research, promotion of scholarship in order to inspire other centres,” he said.

The report of the Committee on Review/Assessment of Centres of Excellence headed by Prof. Oyewale Tomori, recommended that none of the Centres should be upgraded. This is because most of the Centres failed to utilize the first seed grant of N150 million which were allocated for needed infrastructures.

According to Prof. Tomori “For the future selection of TETFund Centres of Excellence, the Agency should identify the areas needing technological advancement and capacity building for national development, and call for proposal that will be subjected to competitive bidding and selection process. In the same vein, TETFund should organize regular and annual project review meetings with the Centres.

“There should also be training and retraining programme for Centre Directors and the head of the units domiciled in the Centre. Since most Centres did not utilize their first seed grant of N150 million for the initial infrastructures required in the Centres, TETFund should provide some bail out funds to the Centres to enable proper take-off of the Centres”.

For the Advisory Committee on Operationalization of TETFund Skills Development Special Intervention, the Chairman of the Committee, Prof. Idris Bugaje who was represented by a member of the committee, Prof. Nuhu Yakubu recommended that polytechnics for the 2024 Special Intervention of TETFund be selected based on geo-political zones.

Recall that TETFund constituted three advisory committees in March to assess the status of its Centres of Excellence, equipment in laboratories and workshops of tertiary institutions and recommend operationalization of the Skills Development Special Intervention programme of TETFund.


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