The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFun) Dr. Abulahi Baffa Bichi, has commanded the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, (COOU), Anambra State for setting the pace in the prudent management of funds made available to universities in the country by the body for the provision of infrastructure for teaching, learning and research.
Speaking at an awareness seminar organised by the organisation at the Igbariam Campus of the institution, Bichi observed that the university has the largest faculties of engineering and pharmaceutical sciences in the country and praised the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Fidelis Okafor and the management for using resources made available to the school for laudable projects.
“Today TETFund has confirmed that COOU has the biggest faculties of engineering and pharmaceutical sciences in Nigeria. The faculty of engineering that trails behind the one built by Ojukwu University is the one at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Kaduna State.
“Ojukwu University, being a state-owned institution gets less funds from TETFund compared to many other universities, but I was marvelled seeing the faculties of engineering and that of pharmaceutical sciences at Uli and Igbariam, respectively so the university has achieved much with less.”
Bichi said the agency was encouraged by the feat and promised that it would not relent in its statutory duties of providing funds for tertiary institutions for infrastructural development, research and manpower development.
He advised other vice-chancellors in the country to emulate Okafor’s leadership style and ensure prudent management of funds made available to them to advance learning.
In his remarks, the vice-chancellor said TETFund had intervened in many aspects of the lives of many universities in Nigeria, adding that in Odumegwu Ojukwu University, many academic staff have benefitted from the training fund. He said many of them are still in Japan, some in Australia and in some other high-ranking institutions across the world on research and training through TETFund intervention.
He noted with satisfaction that TETFund has been the life-wire of the country’s tertiary institutions, especially the universities, stressing that laudable projects funded by the fund in the institution included the pharmaceutical science and engineering complexes, faculty of agriculture, two laboratories, centre for entrepreneurship, among others.
Okafor reiterated the need for state governments to rise to the challenge of funding their universities adequately and not leave them for TETFund alone.