TETFUND At 10: The Journey So Far, by Rahma Olamide Oladosu
Over the years, the various levels of education in the country have been confronted with different problems which range from financial, human to material or resource insufficiencies.
It is for this reason that various steps have been taking by the government to restore the dwindling fortune of the nation’s educational system.
However, the most affected among the levels of education in the country is the tertiary level especially university education. The university level of education is very strategic in the education sector In the country since it is the apex.
There are various agencies in Nigeria that are responsible for managing the University education system. One of these agencies set up by the government to oversee the monitoring of the university system of education is the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
TETFund came into existence in 2011 after it metamorphosed from the Education Trust Fund (ETF) which was established in 1993. As an intervention agency, the institution has been responsible for ensuring that the objectives of the public tertiary institutions in the country are met through the provision of necessary resources. Although a new agency, the TETFUNDs presence has been felt in virtually all the Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the country. The focus of this body is to ensure that the tertiary level of education in the country can compete favorably with other universities in the continent and around the world.
TETFund has been responsible for the distribution of intervention funds to the various public higher institutions in Nigeria. This includes the Universities, Polytechnics, Colleges of Education and other levels of education. Although the agency also takes responsibility for the funding of other lower levels of education within the country, their major task has been the area of distributing and monitoring funds among tertiary institutions in the country.
TETFund is an interventional measure of the Federal Government to tackle inadequate facilities in our tertiary institutions. This is the major role which the agency has been playing over the years since it came into existence in 2011. Various government agencies such as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) release funds to TETFUND as a channel for distributing same to the various tertiary institutions within the country.
Talking about the journey so far, I was privileged to attend TETFUND’s 10th anniversary which was held on the 16th of December, 2021. It has indeed been an amazing journey of good records for the agency.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, disclosed that the agency has sponsored close to 30,000 lecturers for masters and PhD programmes in both local and foreign institutions in the last ten years.
He further noted that in a bid to boost human capacity in the beneficiary institutions, over 68,000 academic and non-academic staff of public tertiary institutions had been sponsored by the Fund to attend local and foreign conferences.
“So far, the Fund has procured over 2,080,041 books for use in the libraries, 152,844 E-Resources and 380,778 equipment and furniture distributed across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria,” he said.
On research, the Fund launched the National Research Fund (NRF) with a seed fund of N3billion as a take-off grant to support cutting edge research in areas of critical national need and development. TETFund has been playing a significant role in Covid-19 research and drug development in general.
Generally, TETFund has executed 152, 838 infrastructural projects in public universities and other beneficiary institutions in the last 10 years.
Bogoro assured that the Fund would continuously contribute positively to making public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria truly, globally competitive.
The role of University education in the growth and development in Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized. The extent to which national objectives are achieved in the country is subject to how well the university system is attended to.
Similarly, for the university system to perform well, the effort of all stakeholders and agencies must be on deck. TETFund must therefore continue to receive the necessary support to keep doing the great things it is doing.
Rahma Olamide Oladosu is a Staff Writer with the Economic Confidential