The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says it has disbursed more than N300 billion this year to about 226 tertiary institutions for staff members training and infrastructure development.
Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, the Chairman, Board of Trustees, TETFund, disclosed this on Monday in Asaba at an audit and accounts reconciliatory meeting with the benefiting institutions in Delta.
He said TETFund was committed to building the education sector through training of the academic staff members and the building of projects to make teaching and learning more conducive.
According to Ibrahim-Imam, 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, impact, is visible in every institution. At the University of Lagos alone, we have completed and ongoing 75 projects while in 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.
“ I want to assure all the institutions that we are going to do much more than we have done in the past.
On Academic staff training and development, the TETFund boss 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.
“Also each polytechnics will 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 that there was need for various institutions to examine and evaluate the costs of staff training abroad and resolve to look inward for more staff to be trained locally.
He said this was in respect of 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-thirds 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 programmes here.
“We are here to see you physically and hear from you.”
Mr Muhammad Sulaiman, the Head, Academic Staff Training and Development, TETFund, said the fund spent more than N5 billion to train no fewer than 1,127 lecturers of nine tertiary institutions in Delta since 2015.
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.
He said it was particularly to tap from those that travelled overseas in the period under review.
“From inception, TETFund has invested over N161 billion for staff training and more than N32 billion for conference attendance and teaching practice.
“Also out of this investment, we have trained both locally and internationally, more than 30,000 academic staff across the country.
“We also sponsored more than 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.’’
Some beneficiaries of the programme lauded the fund while asking for the expansion and timely releases of fund to beneficiaries. (NAN)