From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund) on Monday said about N300 billion has been set aside in its budget this year for the training of academic staff across 226 tertiary institutions.
Chairman, Board of Trustees of TETFund, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, disclosed this in Asaba at an audit and accounts reconciliatory meeting with the benefiting institutions in Delta State.
Imam said each university would be accessing about N900 million, while each polytechnic would access in excess of N800 million, and colleges of education would 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, polytechnics and colleges of education N120 million each this year,’ he added.
He, however, said that there was a need for various institutions to examine, evaluate the costs of staff training abroad and resolve 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 about two-thirds of our annual intervention but we place our premium on the 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.’
He said TETFund has in excess of 10,000 projects across the various tertiary institutions in the country in the last ten years of its existence.
‘Our performance, impactfulness is visible in every institution. At the University of Lagos alone, we have 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 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.’
On his part, Mr Muhammad Sulaiman, Head, Academic Staff Training and Development, 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 since 2015.
‘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 attempt since inception by the fund to look at both ends in terms of record-keeping,’ he said.