Paul Obi in Abuja
The House of Representatives monday tasked the federal government and Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) to set up a special intervention programme to cater for tertiary educational institutions in the North East geo-political zone ravaged by Boko Haram insurgency.
The House Committee on Tertiary Education said given the destruction that has occasioned the region as result of terrorist attacks by the sect, there is need to put an initiative in place, to fast track tertiary education development in the insurgency states of the north east.
The House Committee led by its Chairman, Hon Aminu Suleiman, made the call monday in Abuja when it paid an oversight visit to the headquarters of TETFund, stating that after a careful study by the committee, it was discovered that are not more than 30 per cent infrastructural intervention by TETFund in the newly created three universities across the country.
He said: “Infrastructural development in schools in the North-east is highly needed. There’s need for a master plan, an initiative that will assist in the recovery and restoration of the standard of education in the North-east region.
Sulieman who was accompanied by Hon. Jarigbe Agom and others said the challenges being faced in the country deserve the establishment of TETFund to redress the sorry state of the nation’s tertiary institutions.
He maintained that, “It’s through oversight that we can establish whether those entrusted with responsibilities are doing so in accordance with laid down procedures.
“We will guide jealously, the actions and conduct of this agency to ensure it fulfils its mandate very patriotically.”
On his part, Executive secretary, TETFund, Dr Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, said beginning from next quarter intervention cycle , the agency is proposing that beneficiary institutions should come before it and defend their proposal on what they intend to do with their allocation. He said, “Let us see what they are doing in tune with our education.”
Baffa added that environment constitutes 30 per cent of criteria for global university ranking, so Nigeria’s tertiary institutions should be proud of having massive building and utilities value, adding that, “we have to make our universities’ environment of best global standards and practice.”
Baffa further revealed that Nigeria currently ranks 59th on research citation but the country could do better, if it utilises its research grants well and judiciously implement strategic policies to enrich its academic curriculum.