Chairman Board of Trustees  Mr. Kashim Ibrahim-Imam

TETFund to Build 200,000 Bed Spaces across Tertiary Institutions, to Construct Centres of Excellence in 6 Geo-political Zones, Gets 7.5 Billion Research Grant

By Blessing Essien

Worried by the current challenges of Hostel facilities in our tertiary institutions, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has disclosed that it will build at least 200,000 beds spaces across tertiary institutions in the country to ease the recurrent menace of accommodation faced by students.

The Chairman Board of Trustees  Mr. Kashim Ibrahim-Imam disclosed this  at the 2020 retreat organized for members of the  Board  with the theme “ Consolidating TETFund as a Model Intervention Agency for Nigeria’s Knowledge Economy”, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ibrahim-Imam expressed worries over age-long lack of accommodation and internet facilities in our tertiary institutions despite various interventions by TETFund.

“I am very particular about two critical areas, which are of great concern to me and the BoT.  These include the issue of accommodation and ICT, in spite of various interventions by TETFund, our tertiary institutions still have inadequate lecture theatres, research laboratories, Hostels and ICT facilities.

“in the area of accommodation, it is a known fact that the number of bed spaces in our tertiary institutions is only 10 to 15 per cent of the students’ population. For example, University of Abuja has a thousand bed spaces for thirty thousand students. University of Calabar has two thousand bed spaces for fifty thousand students. These amount to 3.3 per cent and 3.7 per cent respectively”, he said.

The Board Chairman, while encouraging a public private partnership arrangement to Fasttrack development in various institutions, disclosed a planned action to wire up   all tertiary institutions with ICT that would facilitate e-learning, e-libraries and possibly e-examinations.

Also speaking at the retreat, the Executive Secretary of TETFund Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro said the presidency has approved the establishment of six medical simulation research and clinical training facilities in six colleges of medicine in each geopolitical zone within the year, noting that this will provide TETFund the opportunity to provide 12 COVID-19 and other related infectious diseases molecular laboratory, with two in each geopolitical zone, making TETFund the highest single holder of COVID-19 test Centres in Nigeria.

Professor Bogoro also disclosed that 7.5 billion research grant has been approved by the presidency for the year 2020, also making TETFund the largest holder of research grants in the country.

He also disclosed that the BoT has approved N200 million to sponsor some COVID-19 research proposals mainly from Universities and NAFDAC.

“the BoT also approved that TETFund sponsors some COVID-19 research proposals to the tune of N200m, mainly from universities and NAFDAC, being one of the reasons TETFund has been made the secretariat for the Nigeria COVID-19 research Consortium R&D”, he said.

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