By Festus Ahon, Asaba
CHAIRMAN Board of Trustees of Tertiary Education Fund, Tetfund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, Monday, said Tetfund has disbursed over N300 billion this year to about 226 tertiary institutions in the country for staff training and infrastructural development projects.
Ibrahim-Imam who disclosed this in Asaba at an audit and accounts reconciliatory meeting with the benefiting institutions in Delta, said Tetfund was committed to building the education sector through training of the academic staff and the building of projects such that would make teaching and learning more conducive.
He said: “Tetfund is 10 years old and we have in excess of 10,000 projects across the various tertiary institutions in the country to show for our effort.
“Our performance, impactfullness is visible in every institution, at the University of Lagos alone, we have completed and ongoing 75 projects, at Lagos State University, we have 68 projects.
“There is no tertiary institution that I have visited that does not have at least minimum of 50 completed and ongoing projects fully funded by tetfund and I want to assure all the institutions that we are going to do much more than we have done in the past”.
Speaking on Academic staff training and development, Ibrahim-Imam said; “in the past 10 years, Tetfund has successfully trained more than 30,000 lecturers across the country for masters and PhD programmes locally and internationally.
“This year alone, the overall budget of Tetfund is about N300 billion: each university will be accessing overall budget of about N900 million, each polytechnics will be access in excess of N800 million while the colleges of education will access in excess of N700 million.
”We have about 226 tertiary institutions on our records as at the last count and we are counting more; For academic staff training and development, each university will access about N150 million, Polytechnic and colleges of education N120 million each this year.”
He, however said there was need for various institutions to examined, evaluate the costs of staff training abroad and resolved to look inward for more staff to be trained locally given the challenge of the depreciating value of naira to foreign currencies in the country.
According to him, Tetfund places premium on academic staff training and development, yes, we spend more on Physical infrastructure without which lecturers will not operate on conducive learning atmosphere.
“For this reason, physical infrastructure takes up of about two-third of our annual intervention but we place our premium on training of lecturers and that is why you have so many beneficiaries of our training programme here and we are here to see you physically and hear from you.
On his part, Mr Muhammad Sulaiman, Head, Academic Staff Training and Development, Tetfund disclosed that no fewer than 1,127 lecturers have been trained from nine tertiary institutions in Delta state by Tetfund at the cost of over N5 billion between 2015 to date.
According to him, the visit is to reconcile and harmonise the records with beneficiaries of the programme and also to interact with returnee scholars to tap from their experience particularly those that have travelled oversee in the period under review.
“From inception, Tetfund has invested over N161 billion for staff training and over N32 billion for conference attendance and teaching practice and out of this investment, we have trained both local and international more than 30,000 academic staff across the country.
“We also sponsored over 68 conference attendants and over 79, 000 for teaching practice outings. The essence of the exercise cannot be overemphasised because there has never been an attempts since inception by the fund to look at both end in terms of record keeping”.
Some beneficiaries of the programme lauded the fund while asking for the expansion and timely releases of fund to beneficiaries