The Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund) has urged polytechnic lecturers who are already on the punishment list of the Fund for failing to attend conferences in the past after collecting the money meant for that to utilise such funds to sponsor themselves to the forthcoming training conference of the Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa (ATUPA) Conference.

The Executive Secretary of the Fund, Arc. Sunday Echono, issued the directive Thursday when members of the Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology (COHEADS), led by the Chairman and Rector of Ogun State Institute of Technology, Olufunke Akinkurolere, paid him a courtesy visit at the headquarters of TETFund in Abuja.

One of the three appeals made by the Council was that TETFund approves the fund meant for training of academic staff of Polytechnics for them to attend the conference.

According to the ES, though the sanctions were about to be meted out to all the conference defaulters, those of them that would take advantage of the ATUPA conference by utilising the money collected to attend would spared of any sanctions.

Assuring the heads of polytechnics of the Funds readiness support their members in attending the conference, Echono noted that anything that would boost the capacity of lecturers to give the desired skill-based training would always be prioritised.

He however urged the leadership of COHEADS to ensure that their members who will be sponsored utilised the funds to attend the conference form which it is meant.

He said: “On the issue of your ATUPA conference, I want the directors to note. I know we have provisions for conference attendance. But this has not been performing very well in recent past.

“Many institutions were not able to access them, and for others that accessed, some have not attended. So when we see a programme that is identified by you as beneficial to all, who will prioritise them.

“Indeed, for those who have not been able to attend their conferences that we are trying to, like, punish or introduce sanctions for, we will offer this window of opportunity for them. For anybody who wants to attend this conference but has an outstanding or has collected money before and has not used it, we will approve that, so that they utilise it and go and attend the conference.

“And we can take them off the hook holding those who will be asked to refund the money they collected without attending the conference.

“But we also encourage you to continually explore this, so that even the conferences and workshops that your scholars attend are relevant to their areas of specialisation and the work that they do. So we will require your assistance in that regard.”

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