TETFund Allocates N12bn to Establish 12 Additional Centres of Excellence

Kuni Tyessi in Abuja

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has allocated N1 billion each for the establishment of 12 additional Centres of Excellence (COEs) in tertiary institutions.

Recall that under the 2020 intervention, 12 TETFund CoEs were established in Nigerian universities. This year, 12 more centres will be established evenly in six polytechnics and Colleges of Education respectively.

The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this at the inauguration of the 12 maiden centres in Abuja yesterday, said two were selected in each geopolitical zone of the country and would be funded for a period of five years.

The centres are Federal Polytechnic Nasarawa; Federal College of Education, Pankshin (North Central); Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi; Federal College Education, Yola (Northeast); Federal Polytechnic, Kaduna; Federal College of Education, Zaria (North west); Federal Polytechnic, Nekede; Alvan Federal of Education, Owerri (Southeast); Federal Polytechnic, Auchi; Federal College of

Education (Technical), Omoku (South-south); Yaba College of Technology, Lagos, and Adeyemi College Education, Ondo (Southwest).

Inaugurating the centres, Bogoro charged them to hit the ground running by ensuring to strengthen the sustainability beyond the 2026.

He said: “I’m delighted to welcome you all to this historic occasion; one that I hope will lay the foundation as well as define the trajectory for the transformation of our beleaguered Tertiary Education Institutions (TEIs) from mere ‘citadels of learning’, where inputs and outputs have left much to be desired for far too long, to the springboard of Nigeria’s leap into the

knowledge economy paradigm, in keeping with the established tradition that higher institutions are the bastion of intellectualism and the breeding ground for creativity, original thinking and innovation that shape and define civilizations and also drive economies and development.

“Having been painstakingly selected to host the second batch of TETFund Centres of Excellence, it is appropriate for each of you here to feel justifiably proud for being deemed worthy of selection from among dozens of eligible candidate institutions.

“I hasten to draw your attention to the huge burden of expectation that comes with your choice as the pioneer beneficiary institutions of this initiative with immense national significance.

“There is but one true path to socio-economic and technological advancement (R and D) and the new 12 TCoEs (two in each geopolitical zone of Nigeria, which we are to fund for five years with a grant of N1billion each, will be at the heart of the mechanism for the attainment of our national aspirations.”

The executive secretary noted that each selected institution is expected to implement its own approved TCOE, with the objective to address a specific national development challenge through preparation of professionals, applied

research and associated outreach activities to partners, especially community services.

He said one of the basic strategic aims for establishment of Centres of Excellence is to support strategic and applications-oriented research and expertise with potential industrial applications.

“This means supporting national and global competitive research and development in strategic and applied sciences (including medicine and Engineering) with the aim of generating innovations. This is usually done with a focus on government-defined priority areas needed for technical development and industrial growth.

“We, therefore, expect our TCEs in the six polytechnics to imbibe some of the tried and tested approaches to enhancing entrepreneurship among students, such as their engagement in extracurricular or co-curricular activities, ranging from training programmes, business plan competitions to entrepreneurship clubs that play an indispensable role in fostering a culture of entrepreneurship and expanding students’ involvement,” he said.

Similarly, he said the task before the six Colleges of Education selected to host TCOES is to specialise in pedagogy and periodic curriculum review and development.

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