- TETFund has trained 30,000 Masters, PhDs, Executed 152,838 Projects – ES
- Board Chair, Kashim Imam Advocates Increase In Education Tax From 2% To 3%
- Five African Countries Adopt TETFund’s Model To Save Own Tertiary Institutions
- CVC, Olor’Ogun Score TETFund ‘A’, As VCs, Rectors, Provosts, Say The Fund Is a Savior
- ASUU Scores TETFund, ‘C’, Wants FIRS To Publish List of Coys Evading Education Tax
- Bogoro, Rasheed Bag Hallmarks of Labour Foundation’s ‘Role Model Award’ In Education
- Honours ASUU, Unilorin, BUK, Others For Outstanding Performance
By Samson Yaki & Oyindamola Adeyemi
Executive Secretary of the Fund, Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, who disclosed this at the 10th anniversary celebration of the Fund in Abuja recently, said the projects included lecture theatres, classrooms, hostels, offices, road networks, laboratories and fencing in some institutions in different parts of the country.he Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has disclosed that it has trained about 30,000 Masters and PhD Scholars in various Universities within and outside the country, and has executed not less than 152, 838 Projects in public universities and other beneficiary institutions in the last 10 years of its transformative intervention.
He further noted that in a bid to boost human capacity in the beneficiary institutions, over 68,000 academic and non-academic staff of public tertiary institutions had been sponsored by the Fund to attend local and foreign conferences; adding that the Fund equally supported over 71,263 lecturers under its Teachers’ Supervision Programme among other achievements.
“TETFund has also allocated substantial funds to public Federal and state Tertiary Institutions for the acquisition of library books, e-library resources and academic manuscript development in order to promote and support research, teaching and learning. So far, the Fund has procured over 2,080,041 books for use in the libraries, 152,844 E-Resources and 380,778 equipment and furniture, distributed across public tertiary institutions in Nigeria,” he said.
Professor Bogoro disclosed that President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Fund to complete the construction of the National Library which, he said symbolises the institutional repository of knowledge and research globally.
On research, Professor Bogoro said in 2011, the Fund launched the National Research Fund, NRF, with a seed fund of N3billion as take-off grant to support cutting edge research in areas of critical national need and development.
He further revealed that in 2015, N1billion was added, while in 2019, N5billion was approved for the NRF.
He further added that in 2020, President Muhammadu Buhari approved additional 50 per cent increase in allocation to the NRF, making it N7.5billion for that year and N8.5billion in 2021.
“So far, N9billion has been accessed by lecturers to finance their research activities, and a total of 457 research projects have been approved across the country, out of which some have been completed while some are still ongoing”, he revealed further.
The Fund, Professor Bogoro stressed, allocates funds on an annual basis to support Academic Research Journals and Institution Based Research (IBR) for research projects not more than N2million per project.
“So far, about 2,175 projects have been approved for Institution Based Research and 342 Academic Research Journal projects were undertaken between 2011 and 2021,” he said.
According to the TETFund’s Boss, the Fund has been providing support for Teaching Practice in federal and state Colleges of Education across the country.
The Executive Secretary also disclosed that TETFund had been playing significant roles in COVID-19 Research in the country and drug development in general, in partnership with research institutes in the country.
At the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria in 2020, the Fund in collaboration with the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) formed the National COVID-19 Research Consortium (NCRC) with the secretariat located in TETFund office in Abuja.
He commended the Chairman of TETFund Board of Trustees, BOT, Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, for approving four mega research clusters.
He said the clusters had funds ranging from N250million to N450million in response to COVID-19 Vaccines and Drug Research, Security/Defense and Dairy Research and development in the 2021 budget.
He further said that TETFund has introduced two new intervention lines within the period; Project Maintenance and ICT Support Interventions.
According to him, the Project Maintenance Support is to enable the institutions completely renovate dilapidated buildings which have become an eyesore on the campuses, while the ICT Support Intervention is for the website upgrade of institutions and for ICT training for both Teaching and Non-Teaching staff to enable them become computer proficient in the ICT world that we now live in.
“These funds allocations are aimed at enabling our tertiary institutions become World Class institutions thereby improving on their world ranking, a situation that is of deep concern to Mr. President who is determined to reverse the trend”, he added.
The ES also said that the Fund is collaborating effectively with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) to ensure that there is improvement in the Education Tax collections that are made available to the Fund’s beneficiary institutions.
“Already, this partnership has commenced with annual joint TETFund/ FIRS Interactive Forum to deliberate on areas for improvement of education tax collections. The Fund also introduced the Taxpayers’ Forum which is aimed at recognizing and honouring identified taxpayers that have contributed positively and consistently to education tax collection over the years whilst also showcasing TETFund intervention activities over the years to taxpayers and the public”, he said.
Professor Bogoro assured that the Fund would continuously contribute positively to making public tertiary educational institutions in Nigeria truly globally competitive.
In his address, the Chairman Board of Trustees of TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim Imam, who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu who he described as the secret behind TETFund’s ongoing serene revolution in the nation’s tertiary institutions; called on the duo to ensure that the National Assembly amends the Education Tax clause in the constitution to increase the tax from 2% to 3%.
He said this is necessary in view of the overwhelming challenges ahead of TETFund which has, arguably, remained one of the few government agencies serenely working round the clock, touching the lives of every stakeholder in the education sector in different ways.
In his remarks, the Chairman of the occasion, Olor’Ogun Dr Sonny F. Kuku who scored TETFund 9/10, which translates to A+, called on the federal government to set up Scholarship Fund or a loan scheme to support indigent students in tertiary institutions. He said the scholarship Fund will go a long way in ameliorating multiple and distractive challenges students often face in the pursuits of their studies which usually results in losing their education.
Olor’Ogun also advocated for the award of some sort of loans to willing indigent students who cannot fund their education. He said the loan can be repaid by the beneficiaries in installments after their graduation and after securing jobs.
Also in his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono commended TETFund for the impact made since inception, while calling on other agencies of government to emulate the Fund.
Expressing delights over the activities of Tetfund in revamping education in the higher institutions in the country, heads of institutions across the country stood tall to rate the fund high.
According to Professor Shehu AbdulRahman, Vice Chancellor of Federal University Lafia, “TetFund @10 means achievement, excellence and innovation in Nigeria’s educational system, particularly the tertiary education”.
According to Professor AbdulRahman, “Federal University Lafia has benefited immensely from TETFund in areas of infrastructure, research, staff training, covering areas of personnel improvement in terms of productivity and innovation. For instance, the core value of my university is integrity, innovation and excellence and I can tell you that TETfund is really making the university to respond immensely to these core values of the institution”.
The Vice Chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University Professor Kabir Bala, who was represented at the Anniversary by Professor Muhammad Faguji Ishiyaku, the Executive Director of ABU’s Institute of Agricultural Research, said TETFund has
supported a number of staff of the University to acquire higher degrees both locally and internationally which has contributed immensely to academic staff capacity and development.
“In addition, such infrastructure like lecture rooms, lecture theatres, laboratories and different equipments for both teaching and research have all been acquired and delivered by TETFund. Our library holdings have been enhanced by TETFund. On the average, TETFund has expended millions of naira on ABU in the last ten years”.
While commending TETFund for its innovative achievements, he urged the Agency to interface with stakeholders to provide educational tools, which are locally produced, noting that most of the tools in the sciences are imported. “It is high time now that these things are domesticated. We have the human capacity to be able to provide a number of this”, He said.
Dr. Chris Fyona, ASUU Vice President, said TETFund @10 means “time to celebrate our success as a critical stakeholder in the educational sector considering the role our union has played in the birth of ETF and its subsequent transformation to TETFund. I think it is a great thing and its time we celebrate this great achievement and hope for more years of greater successes”.
“TETFund has been improving over the years; more structures are being put in place to ensure effective service delivery. The only problem is whether the beneficiaries are living up to what quality TETFund wants especially in maintaining structures that are put in place.
“The establishment of Centers of Excellence is a clear manifestation that our growth as a country is a thing of concern for TETFund. You have centers of excellence in agriculture, on food security, cyber security and all that. I think all that is a clear manifestation of how TETFund is evolving and we believe that the growth of the country would be diversified through such interventions”.
“In the next ten years, there should be more money to fund research, to train people and to improve infrastructure. “We believe with that, government will give up its stand on wanting to introduce fees, because fees will be introduced for the same purpose that TETFund is providing facilities and structures for.
“We believe if in the next ten years, TETFund doubles on what she is doing and what they are given. This issue of introducing fees will not surface because parents are suffering enough as it is. People forget that parents still pay for the feeding of their children, for their accommodation, for books and other things”.
On his part, Dr. Langa Hassan Bangunji, the Provost, College of Education Billiri Gombe State, “College of Education Billiri was established in 2012 by an act of State Assembly. It commenced oppression in 2015. The College got enlisted with TETFund in September 2018. Immediately we got enlisted, we started benefiting from the 2018 zonal intervention. Since then, we have also continued to enjoy the infrastructure fund, the teaching practice, zonal intervention, the ICT support services, the academic staff training and development, the library intervention and Institutional Based Research Grant (IBR).
“When I came to the College as a provost in September 2017, even the tables in the class rooms were dilapidated. It was courtesy of TETFund that we were able to get furniture through zonal intervention, we were able to get more class rooms, we were able to get furnished staff offices; we were able to construct lecture theatres, twin lecture theatres – 250 seat capacity fully furnished. We have solar set lightening, computers, printers, photocopiers. We got all of these courtesy of TETFund. I am sure it wouldn’t have been easy for us to run that college without the intervention of TETFund”.
“If TETFund is just ten years, and we are having all of this infrastructure, staff training, research and development, modern laboratories, Centres of Excellence in Colleges of Education and Universities. I want to believe that in the next ten years, TETFund will be at the top, and our tertiary institutions will compete, favourably, with any institution in any part of the world in terms of educational research and development”.
The immediate past Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University, Professor Olanrewaju Adigun Fabowun, submitted that “With TETFund, we, at LASU, have been able to thrive so well. You will recall that in 2021 ‘Times Higher Education’ ranked LASU as number two in Nigeria after University of Ibadan and in the band of 500 to 600 universities globally.
“One of the things that made it possible for us to achieve that feat was the support that we got from TETFund. In terms of physical infrastructure, we’ve got quite a number of that from TETFund, and in terms of support for academic and non-academic members of the university, we also got significant support from the Fund in terms of training them outside the country. In terms of publication, in terms of attending conferences, a whole lot of this came in from TETFund. And that was why we were able to achieve that feat. I greatly commend TETFund for what it has done”.
“I think for now, TETFund should just continue to deepen the activities that it is doing, and should also pay attention to two areas – ICT and energy. If these two problems can be solved, our Universities will be at their best.
In the view of Mrs. Victoria Olusola Jagboru, Provost College of Education (Technical), Kaba, Tetfund @10 means an eventful period in the life of TETFund because it has touched so many lives, particularly, in my College, there are a lot of infrastructure, educational development of staff and so many other things that we can really point out that TETFund has done for the instituion.
“It is second to none, when you come to my College and take a look at some of the insfrastructures, it’s something that eyes can tell you without even saying a word. For instance, in my permanent site I have ten completed buildings that are carrying the logo of TETFund. In my College, the hand of TETFund is all over the place. In the life of my staff like I said earlier, I have about five staff now in a foreign country where they are doing PhD and Masters.
“From what we saw at TETFund’s archives, some higher institutions, before the coming of TETFund, looked highly dilapidated and inhabitable. But, with the advent of TETFund, these same institutions are now wearing new looks with state-of-the-art buildings. I am sure TETFund will go places. We gathered that about 5 different countries in Africa have come to find out the secrets behind TETFund’s success. For instance, Ghana has GETFund which is a replica of TETFund. This is because of what TETFund is doing. So if TETFund has achieved this feat now, in the next ten years, I am sure there won’t be any institution that would not have good structure in place and more institutions will benefit more. For instance, in my school, when i assumed office, there were few PhD holders, but now I have about 15 of them, 3 of them are overseas doing their PhD and some of them are PhD holders in my college now.
For Professor Ali Usman El-Nafaty, the Vice Chancellor of Gombe State University, “TETFund has been the bedrock upon which ourWw University had been prospering over the last 10 years. If we look at the development and the contributions of TETFund, in terms of university funding, infrastructural development, in terms of other support services, conference attendance, in terms of publications and in terms of ICT, we can see that TETFund has been an all-rounder in terms of supporting the Universities”.
The VC of Niger Delta University, Wilberforce, who is also the Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCUN) Professor Samuel Edoumie-Kumoh, opined that, “If you come to our University, you will be tempted to name it after TETFund. This is because all the physical projects, staff training, conferences are all funded by TETFund.
“If I would score TETFund performance in Niger Delta University against other interventions and supports, I would give TETFund 99%. This is not limited to my University, because as Chairman, Committee of Vice Chancellors, I can boldly say TETFund is doing great in all public universities nationwide.
“We call the ES, not Bogoro anymore, but, R&D Apostle, because he is the apostle of Research and Development and we are very happy about it. There was a very renowned professor of Political Economy, late professorS Esko Toyo, who once told me that infrastructure is good, but what comes out of the infrastructure matters more. Continue on page 5
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The people that are there, what they are bringing out, the value they are adding to the society is very important. So, that is what is expected of a university. Unfortunately, we were not having the funding, but things are beginning to change with the coming of Bogoro to TETFund. Tetfund has now sponsored centres of excellence in our institutions and devoted up to N8.5 billion on research.
In addition, TETFund is coming up with National Research Fund with a view to supporting research that will bring about knowledge-based economy and that is what is driving economies of the developed countries. For Bogoro introducing that in TETFund, and giving to universities, that will go a long way in moving Nigeria to the next real level.
“If TETFund continues with the good work it is doing, and if the tax rate payable by companies is also increased from 2% to 3%, TETFund can raise a trillion naira in one year. If this is achieved, it means investing ten trillion in ten years which will no doubt turn around the fortunes of education in Nigeria”.
Professor Yakubu Aboki Ochefu, Secretary General, Committee of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, said, “Anybody who is familiar with the public university system in Nigeria would understand that TETFund has been a critical enabler of so many aspects of our university education, such as providing infrastructure, equipment, furniture, buses, sports equipment.
“In addition, TETFund has in the last ten years focused on training – teaching and learning, and support. Whoever operates within the Nigerian university system especially at the state universities, would praise TETFund, given that many state government had abandoned their universities and left them in the hands of TETFund, and if not for TETEFund many of the state universities would not have the facilities they have now. That has been a big plus and has lived up to their bidding as an educational intervention agency.
“Professor Suleiman Bogoro in his second visionary journey has really dug deep in this regard, because the fourth industrial revolution is a knowledge revolution. It is a revolution driven by this generation, dissemination of knowledge, for societal growth. We must make the requisite investment in knowledge, in growing new academic disciplines, in growing new research interest in seeing how we can translate our research from the laboratories to innovation centres to the markets in order to take advantage of the fourth industrial revolutions for sustainable development. I think TETFund has really identified that niche. TETFund has succeeded in sponsoring MSc and PhD studies in the best universities in the world and some locally. Also, it has funded International Conferences which was very difficult for lecturers to attend in view of their poor financial position. I remember when I visited a Polytechnic, I met some lecturers rejoicing and saying they were able to fly International Flight for the first time in their lifetime, courtesy of TETFund.
Honestly, it will be very difficult for a lecturer from a remote polytechnic to be able to attend an International Conference abroad if not for the timely intervention of TETFund”,Professor Ochefu opined.
Tertiary Education Trust Fund (formally Education Trust Fund, ETF) was originally set up as an agency to intervene in the Education Sector by the Education Tax Act No.7 of 1993 as amended by Act No.40 of 1998. The Act was repealed and replaced with the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act of 2011 which refocused the Fund towards the development and rehabilitation of infrastructure alongside research and development in public tertiary institutions (Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education) funded through the 2% Education Tax introduced by the Government on assessable profit of all registered companies in Nigeria.
By the TETFund Act, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) is authorized to collect the 2% Education Tax and remit it annually to TETFund for allocation and onward disbursement to the Beneficiary Institutions (BIs) in the country.
The mandate of the Fund as contained in the Fund’s enabling Act is to administer and disburse the 2% education tax to the federal and state tertiary educational institutions for the provision of essential physical infrastructure for teaching and learning, instructional materials and equipment, research and publication, academic staff training and development and any other need, which in the opinion of the Board of Trustees is critical and essential for the improvement of quality and maintenance of standard in the higher educational institutions.
The High point of the event was unveiling of Impact Assessment Report and award presentation to deserving partners.