The call by President Muhammadu Buhari in faraway New York, at the 77th session of the UN General Assembly, that ‘No country can develop beyond the capacity of its educational system’ bears striking parallelism to the current reforms and transformations going on at TETFund under the leadership of architect Sunny Echono.
The president spoke on Monday, September 19, 2022, while delivering Nigeria’s statement at Transforming Education Summit (leaders’ roundtable) organised on the margins of the 77th session of the United General Assembly.
This presidential statement re-echoed back home in Nigeria and gave credence to the eulogies by the Anambra state governor professor Charles Soludo, when he paid a courtesy call to the Executive Secretary of TETFund and Top Management staff, on Tuesday, September 21, 2022, at the Fund’s headquarters in Abuja.
Soludo, however, took time to applaud the TETFund for the good work it has done and what it is currently doing in tertiary institutions across the country.
The governor did not minced words when he reiterated that the good work of TETFund are visibly and are littered in all tertiary institutions in all parts of the country. He acknowledged that TETFund is charged with the responsibility of rehabilitating, developing and improving the quality of tertiary education in the country. With primary beneficiaries such as universities, colleges of education, polytechnics, Monotechnics, staff training and development agencies, libraries, books development, research, ICT and capacity building.
The Governor commended TETFund, for its various interventions in the educational sector and research development. Gov Soludo said that he was aware of the financial constraint the TETFund was facing compared to the available needs, reiterating that TETFund is giving good account of itself despite the limited resources.
He, however, disclosed that he has a big agenda for the education sector in his state, hence, need the partnership and cooperation of the TETFund, in order to drive a value base educational system in anambra state.
He insisted that for the education sector to move forward, there is a need for impact-driven investment in the sector, hence, advocated for a special mechanism for delivery.
“With the tertiary institutions going the way they are now, there are still questions, still issues, we are not asking those questions but at some point, we are going to ask whether or how the government will be able to fund or adequately fund the number or the plethora of institutions or the mechanism of our delivery, especially with the brick and mortar system that we have, there will be questions”, he said.
He the solicited that the three state-owned tertiary institutions in the state including Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra Polytechnic, Mgbakwu and College of Education, Nsugbe, need to feel the impact of the TETFund.
In his response, the Executive Secretary, Architect Sonny Echono , commended the Anambra governor’s visit and assured him that, very soon, state owned institutions in the state will begin to feel the impact of TETFund.
The Executive Secretary stressed that the interventions of TETfund is littered everywhere in all tertiary institutions in the country aimed at improving the infrastructure and learning environment in the tertiary institutions in the country.
He particularly said that TETFund projects are everywhere in tertiary institutions in Anambra State, especially in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, but that the Fund would do more in the state-owned institutions.
Adding that the Scheme has also escalated its interventions in the area of academic scholarships on different flanks, which includes Academic Staff Training & Development (AST&D); Conference Attendance intervention (CA), Institution Based Research (IBR) intervention, National Research Fund (NRF), Academic Manuscript into books (AMB) Intervention and Academic Research Journals (ARJ).
It is however, worth reiterating that the coming of the Echono as the Chief Executive Officer of the TETFund has brought tremendous goodwill to the Fund.
The Fund has also witness huge changes and recorded a lot of achievements with the coming of the Echono.
Close observers of the happenings in the TETFund, especially The Permanent Secretary federal ministry of education Mr. David Adejoh, recently at a TETFund 10 Books Launch,opined that since Echono took over the mantle of leadership of the TETFUND as Executive Secretary, he has brought a measure of confidence and a huge sense of accountability in funds dispensation.
Professor Charles Aworh, Chairman, TETFund Technical Advisory Group (TAG) also attest that Echono’s robust background in public procurement, will bring accountability and transparency in to the system.
Adding that, the monitoring and evaluation strategy introduced by the current leadership, is clear indication that the management of the Fund under Echono is ready for public accountability. This, indeed, is the hall mark of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration. He added.
It is therefore, pertinent call on all stakeholders in the tertiary education sector to consider supporting the TETFund in every way possible to enable it achieve the desired objectives.