TETFund Working on Employability of Graduates, Says Executive Secretary
Kuni Tyessi in Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Sonny Echono has said the agency was poised to work with the beneficiary institutions to address the challenge of unemployability of graduates from Nigerian universities.
Echono who said this in Abuja, yesterday, when he received the Governor of Anambra State, Prof. Charles Soludo, said the Fund has changed its focus to research.
He said the Centres of Excellence were being strategically established in various institutions across the country to be able to respond to national development challenges.
According to him, the Fund has continued to do a lot both in infrastructure and academic content development.
He noted that TETFund projects are replete everywhere in tertiary institutions in Anambra State, especially in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, saying the Fund would do more in the state-owned institutions.
“In Anambra, you will see a lot of our presence, but I admit at the level of state institutions we need to do more,” Echono said.
He stated that TETFUND has put in place mechanisms through specialised training to ensure Nigerian graduates are easily employable, while the Students’ Industrial Work Experience Scheme (SIWES) is being refocused.
Echono said the Fund has trained over 35,000 academic staff, adding that its Centres of Excellence are also churning out cutting-edge research to meet Nigeria’s developmental needs.
“In the last 11 years, 35,000 academic staff have been trained in Master’s and PhDs, we have also done a lot in the research component of our intervention. We are also working on the employability of our graduates by linking our institutions with industries,” he said.
Soludo in his remark called for a strategic partnership with TETFund in the delivery of intervention projects in higher education institutions in the state.
The former Central Bank Governor who noted that education was key to Anambra, said such collaboration would ensure TETFund’s projects in the state bring about more robust impact.
“We have a big dream, a big agenda to partner with you and other critical stakeholders; the Federal Government is a very critical player in this field.
“Education we know is on the concurrent legislative, the federal and state work together. The only way we can make it work for ourselves is to work together through collaboration, coordination and cooperation, and coincidentally the resource envelope of the federation is disproportionate here in Abuja.
“I will like us to work together in a whole lot of areas we are interested in and in some years to come, we will be able to say with the partnership with TETFund we were able to deliver ABCD, that here are the impacts. Impact measurement is very important,” the governor, who did not, however, listed the required areas of partnership,” he said.