TETFund To Weed Out Non-performing Centres Of Excellence


By Alice Etuka, Abuja

Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, has said the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) would no longer fund Centres of Excellence that do not meet up with its expectations.

Mamman announced this on Friday, May 3, 2024 while receiving two reports from TETFund’s ad hoc committees on Assessment/Review of TETFund Centres of Excellence and Operationalisation of Skills Development Special Intervention in Abuja.

TheFact Daily gathered that the Federal Government established 27 Centers of Excellence eight years ago with the mandate to churn out top-notch innovations and professionals for the country’s development. However, a good number of were not living up to that bidding

In response, Mamman said, “the government is encouraging our scholars to simply rise to the occasion and deliver on their scholarship, what world class scholars do; and we are not going to reward indolence. We can’t be giving free money to institutions that are not doing what they are supposed to do”.

Similarly, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, said the Fund will not continue to throw money away to centres that were not living up to expectations. He added that some centres have funds with TETFund that they had not accessed since inception:

“The funds are with us because we have not released until you reach a milestone, but while they have delayed in reaching those milestones, are causes of concerns.

“The idea was to incubate, to have one centre, the right equipment, the right tools, the right faculty and experts, that would lead our efforts in research, in promoting scholarship at the highest level so that they can also inspire other centres.

“We are going to be pooling from other institutions within the area who want to do further research or who want to carry out any other exploratory study in those particular fields in those areas,” he said.

Speaking about some of the well performing Centers, Echono said, “Sokoto just came up with one major solution for us. For example, they were the ones that discovered this vaccine for Covid, in partnership with other institutions. Now we are also in the process of getting vaccines for Lassa fever and so many others.

“So, some are doing very well. And some have come up with prototypes that we now hoping to take to industries so that they begin to produce these goods and services”.

Earlier, the Committee on the Assessment/Review of TETFund Centres of Excellence, led by Prof Oyewale Tomori, in its report, declined to recommend any centre for upgrade

The report noted that most centres did not utilise their first seed grant of N150 million for the initial infrastructures required in the centres, and advised TETFund to provide some bail out funds to the centres to enable the proper take off of the centres.

The committee also called on the fund to ensure that all funds for the Centres of Excellence were disbursed directly to the their account.

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