Ugo Aliogo and Hammed Shittu in Ilorin.
The Executive Secretary of TETfund Dr. Abdullahi Baffa, recently inaugurated the Yaba College of Technology Central Research Laboratory, Technology Building and Science Building, where he disclosed that N213 billion grant has been allocated for infrastructural development in some federal institutions in the country.
Baffa said a project proposal defence had been conducted , stating how all beneficiary institutions are to utilise the allocation given to them.
He said each federal polytechnic was allocated N691 million, while colleges of education got N679 million and universities were given N1.9 billion.
He noted that the institutions have submitted their project proposals, and that they are already receiving the funds and putting them to use.
â€œ Research is crucial to the success of the countryâ€™s higher institution. There is need for those in the academia to convert their researches into policies and programme to ensure that institutions of higher learning grow. For us at TETFund, we donâ€™t give individual researchers financial grants. We give the grants to the institutions. All we are requesting from scholars is to write ground breaking proposals which will help address economic issues and engender national development. We have supported the college to put in place the structure. We have also supported the college to procure the equipment needed to make the central laboratory world class standard.
â€œOne of our mandates is supporting beneficial institutions with learning resources and equipment. This central laboratory is a clear attestation of the mandate to support tertiary institutions. Providing this equipment will help in no small way to assist students of the college to gain the practical skills needed to function and compete globally in their disciplines. We are happy that the college has judiciously used the funds allocated to it,â€ the executive secretary stressed.
Earlier, in her remarks, the Rector of the College, Dr. Margaret Kudi Ladipo, said the college has over the years embarked on a course of academic expansion through the introduction of new programmes which are relevant to the development of the nationâ€™s economy.
She appealed to TETFund for assistance towards the development of the college, adding that the Epe campus is indeed the future of the college.
â€œIt is a 45-hectare of parcel of land, out of which less than five hectares have been effectively utilised for physical development. There is vast potential for growth with the re-location of old departments and creation of new academic programmes and departments at the campus. This will increase carrying capacity, enhance enrolment, boost development of technical and vocational education and training in Nigeria.â€
In another development, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETfund), Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa has explained why private tertiary institutions can not benefit from the fund’s intervention projects .
He said TETfund was conceived to carry out intervention projects in public institutions that were not charging tuition fees, noting that since private tertiary institutions are charging tuition fees, they are not covered under the law that established TETfund and as such could not benefit from its interventionist projects.
Baffa who made the clarification, weekend, while commissioning five projects including; Prof Shehu Jimoh library, academic staff office complex, Auditorium, Stadium and the Centre for research and information technology, sponsored by his agency at the Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin, said TETfund had so far committed #678 to projects execution in Kwara State Polytechnic.
He commended the Rector of the polytechnic, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu and his management team for judiciously utilising funds released to the institution for execution of projects, adding, â€œ “TETfund or ETF as it was then known, was introduced to stop the federal government from introduced tuition fees in public tertiary institutions. How do you expect institutions that are charging tuition fees to benefit from TETfund projects?
” The law is very clear that intervention is only in public institutions. If you are charging tuition fees, then you should not ask for TETfund’s intervention. Stricter measures have been put in place by the agency to ensure that tertiary institutions across the country adhere strictly to specifications on projects execution.
Baffa hinted that a number of institutions are currently being investigated by ICPC, EFCC and similar agencies over shoddy execution of TETfund projects.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Alhaji Mas’ud Elelu, thanked TETfund for its support for the institution, while expressing optimism that the projects would further engender effective teaching and learning in the institution.