By Luminous Jannamike,
ABUJA – The Chairman, Committee of Provosts of Colleges of Health Sciences and Technology of Nigeria, Dr. Johnson Bayo Ojo, has called for the revision of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund Act.
He also asked the government to provide an enabling environment for accountability mechanisms in the education sector to thrive.
Ojo made the call in a lecture titled, ‘Education Financing for Global Equity and Inclusion’ which he delivered at the conferment of Honourary Doctorate Degrees on some notable Nigerians by the American Heritage University of Southern California, US, held in Abuja on Saturday.
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The doctorate awardees include: the Executive Governor, Yobe State, Mai Mala Buni; Ambassadors Sara Abdul and Mohammed Abubakar Mohammed, among others.
Ojo said, “Governments around the world have Special Intervention Programmes (SIP) for tertiary institutions for the purpose of staff training, maintenance of facilities, procurement of equipment, and infrastructure. Nigeria is one of the most defective countries in this regard. The current legislation is discriminatory.
“Federal Government should review it’s TETFUND Act to accommodate Colleges of Health Sciences and Technology. It should also include private tertiary institutions in their funding schedule, knowing fully well that their products also render service to the nation in various sectors of the economy.”
While describing quality education as more of a human right, Ojo stated that poor funding in Nigeria has rendered the country’s efforts as “a mere lip service commitment”.
He said, “The way forward is an education system that acknowledges public and private providers and has accountability mechanisms to strengthen service delivery amongst the various education stakeholders.
“Nigeria should ensure that a sufficient proportion of the national budget is allocated to education financing and that the money is used effectively and equitably to guarantee education for all, as well as redress inequalities.”
Earlier, the President of Global Scholarship Trust, Dr. John Adeniyi, said the awardees mirror the values and history of the American Heritage University as well as its philosophy.
According to him, the philosophy of the US varsity is to prepare individuals to be assets to the community and be socially responsible, productive members of society.
Harping on the importance of scholarship programmes at the tertiary education level, saying it could be a strategic way of achieving youth transformation, especially for brilliant, but indigent students.