By Muktar Tahir
The beginning phase of the life of an entity, endeavour or individual usually leads to a threshold which determines progress. For instance, in some cultures, a child’s health at the first hundred days after birth is critical and considered significant to its seamless development and growth through life.
A visiting suitor to some countries must marry their spouse before 90 to a hundred days or lose their chances of staying. Same ideal was adopted in the United States in 1932 during the great depression when President Frankline Rosevelt assumed office.
In the first one hundred days of his administration he had initiated and signed into law at least 76 new people oriented bills to ease the effects of the depression; a record breaking achievement in the history of the country; ever since, most government political administrations throughout the globe have been rated by their plans, projects and achievements in the first 100 hundred days of assuming office. Same applies in Nigeria as most administrations at the various states and federal level of government since 1999 have marked their first 100 days in office with references to their plans, projections and achievements.
One critical agency that has made far reaching progress in developing the tertiary educational sector is the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFUND. This it has done through its mandate of mobilizing, planning and channeling education task fund for intervention projects in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
On the 4th of March this year and inconsonance with the Latin saying “Pluribus Unum” which means out of many, Jut one is chosen, the Agency received a boost with the approval of Architect Sunny Echono as the new Executive Secretary of the agency. As a seasoned architect, civil servant and technocrat, Architect Sunny Echono has made tremendous achievements within 100 days of assuming office. On receiving a deluge of suggestions, complaints on various areas of concern by stakeholders, the new TETFUND boss had to chart a course for progress.
He promised to focus on capacity building and staff development and effective service delivery. To keep to his promise by March this year, Architect Echono on receiving the Governing Council of the Federal University of Health Sciences, Oturkpo led by the Vice Chancellor, Mallam Abdullahi Abba called on higher institutions in the country to prioritize specific programmes and boost the human capacity development components in their TETFUND allotted funds.
In the same vein and in consonance with its statutory role of managing education tax funds in supporting projects and capacity building for public tertiary institutions, TETFUND under Architect Echono sponsored a research on the newly designed Smart Climate Information Services for Early Warning on Climate Change for farmers with about one thousand five hundred farmers from seventy villages across six states receiving training on the innovation.
Within the first one hundred days of Architect Echono’s leadership of TETFUND, the agency allotted funds ranging from 300 to 600 Billion Naira to Federal and State Higher institutions of learning. This was with the aim of ending incessant strikes and enhancing their viability.
Under the leadership of Architect Echono in the last 100 days, the agency also ensured the establishment of the Federal Polytechnic, Ogo-Oluwa in Oyo State. After 16 years of abandonment, the National Library Headquarters Complex, Abuja received a boost with the approval of 16 Billion Naira by TETFUND under Architect Echono as first tranche for the completion of the project.
Within his first 100 days in office, Architect Echono also endorsed the Anti-Plagiarism Test developed by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities (CVCNU) to address the rising cases of plagiarism amongst the academic community.
In the last one hundred days of office as Executive Secretary, Architect Sunny Echono has indeed made phenomenal achievements too numerous to mention. These successes would set the track to optimize the operational efficiency of TETFUND.
Mr Tahir wrote from Abuja