TETFUND CONFIRMS READINESS TO TRANSFORM NIGERIAN TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS INTO WORLD CLASS INSTITUTIONS
The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa has said that TETfund is committed to ensuring improvement in the quality of Tertiary Education Delivery and global competitiveness among Nigerian Tertiary Institutions. Dr. Baffa stressed that this is reflected in all TETFund Policies, Projects and Programmes which is why TETfund had tripled the 2016 interventions to the various Tertiary Education Institutions over what was approved in 2015, and it is determined to do more in 2017.
The Executive Secretary disclosed that funds allocated to Tertiary Institutions are aimed at enabling the Institutions to become World Class thereby improving their World ranking, a situation that is of deep concern to the present Administration.
Dr. Abdullahi Baffa made this known during a sensitization programme for TETfund Beneficiary Institutions held at the University of Jos Senate Chambers. The Executive Secretary who was represented by the Head of ICT, TETFund, Mr. Joseph Odo disclosed that in order to achieve this, the Fund intended to work closely with regulatory bodies such as National Universities Commission (NUC), National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) and the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) to ensure that quality and standards are improved and sustained. He added that the Fund would collaborate effectively with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure that there is improvement in Education tax collections that are made available to the Fund’s benefiting Institutions.
According to Dr. Baffa, TETFund had embarked on an access clinic and Project Proposal Defense in the beneficiary Institutions aimed at diagnosing and remedying all encumbrances affecting access to TETFund Interventions. He said the exercise was to enable the Fund to reconcile financial records between it and the beneficiaries which was a serious challenge.
Dr. Baffa further disclosed that in the course of the exercise, TETFund had observed that most of the Institutions were not conversant with the guidelines of some of their Intervention lines thereby leading to poor access to the intervention Funds or in some instances, misunderstanding with Staff Unions.
The Executive Secretary also posited that the sensitization programme was aimed at enlightening and building effective collaboration with stakeholders with a view to improving access to intervention Funds for the improvement of the quality of Tertiary Education in Nigeria. Dr. Baffa stressed that the Fund believes that a strong Tertiary Education System is the backbone of the Economy; therefore, all TETFund interventions are well calculated and targeted at bringing about a solid foundation for the Educational future of the country.
Dr. Baffa said that TETFund has succeeded in the provision and improvement of physical infrastructure in all its two hundred and two (202) benefiting Institutions from 2011 to date and charged Chief Executives of Tertiary Institutions to utilize the Funds made available to their Institutions responsibly and transparently. He advised them to be guided strictly by TETFund guidelines, processes and procedures to enable them access the funds allocated to them for projects and programmes to ensure value for money.
Vice-Chancellor University of Jos, Professor Seddi Sebastian Maimako commended TETFund for the exemplary gesture of sensitizing the University of Jos Community on the activities of TETFund and assured them that the University will continue to utilize all opportunities available to it through TETFund. Professor Maimako who was represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Professor Nelson Ochepke thanked TETFund for its great achievements, particularly, for creating a feedback mechanism through which its beneficiary Institutions can relate their experiences.
The programme featured presentations by TETFund officials on the Fund’s Activities, Guidelines and Modalities for Accessing and Utilizing Funds for projects and Staff Training and Development as well as an interactive session for questions and answers.