We’ve Funded Procurement Of 3m Library Books -TETFund


By Alice Etuka, Abuja

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), in line with its mandate said it funded the procurement of 3,099,871 library books in beneficiary institutions.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono disclosed this on Wednesday, May 8, 2024 while presenting a paper at the 26th seminar of Nigerian Academy of Education held in Abuja.

Speaking on the paper titled: “Funding of Tertiary Education in Nigeria,” Echono also said the Fund has awarded grants for 19,297 Institution Based Research (IBR) projects and 912 research projects under the National Research Fund (NRF).

The project, he said was designed to support impactful research which will contribute to national developmental efforts as well as tackle global challenges.

He also said the agency had funded over 5,525 physical infrastructural projects and provided over 576 faculty/departmental libraries in tertiary institutions across the country.

The Fund according to him also sponsored and supported several research and innovation initiatives such as Research for Impact (R4i), TETFund Alliance for Innovative Research (TETFAIR), and the Innovation Fellowship for Aspiring Inventors and Researchers (i-FAIR) programmes, all targeted at deepening impactful research and uptake of research outcomes with potentials for commercialisation as panacea to societal problems.

The Executive Secretary said, “In addition, TETFund has funded the procurement of 3,099,871 library books in beneficiary institutions. The Fund has also sponsored the publication of 845 titled Academic Research Journals projects, and the development of 2,307 Academic Manuscripts to Books.

“In the area of capacity building, TETFund has sponsored 23,271 academic staff of public tertiary institutions for PhD programmes. Out of this, 4,598 were sponsored to foreign institutions, while 18,673 attended institutions within Nigeria.

“Likewise, 15,977 academic staff were sponsored for Masters degree programme. 3,525 were in foreign institutions, while 12,452 undertook their studies in local institutions within the country. In addition, 911 scholars were sponsored for Benchwork in foreign institutions and 872 academic staff for Post-Doctoral programme specially targeted at strengthening scientific research capacity of the country.

“Also, 31,071 academic staff of tertiary institutions were sponsored to attend international conferences in foreign countries, while 46,604 were sponsored for local conferences, bringing the total scholars sponsored for academic conferences to 77,675. Furthermore, 110,432 academic staff of colleges of education were sponsored to conduct supervision of teaching practice across the country.”

Echono further said the intervention supports to tertiary institutions and other steps taken by the government have enabled Nigeria to be ranked as one of the six most improved countries in Time Higher Education Rankings between 2021 -2022.

However, despite all these laudable efforts, he said there was still a huge gap that needs to be covered, particularly in the area of funding to enable government provide the much-needed quality tertiary education to its citizenry.

Moreso, Echono emphasised the need to encourage and support tertiary institutions to seek for alternative and additional revenue sources by developing a range of pathways and mechanisms, including ventures related to their core business of education delivery, research and services such as clinical medical facilities, ICT, vocational and enterprise centres/innovations hubs, that would be self-financing to generate surplus to the institution and similar initiatives.

This is just as he said tertiary institutions should, as a matter of policy, explore partnerships and collaboration with funding agencies and development partners both at home and abroad to attract support and complementary resources to support the institutions.

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