By Funmilayo Adeyemi
Mr Sonny Echono, the newly appointed Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), has pledged to raise the bar of achievements of his predecessor toward ensuring educational development.
Echono made the pledge during the handover ceremony on assumption of duty on Monday in Abuja.
He said that his administration would be focusing on curriculum delivery system in schools, adding that this would make the graduates more relevant not just in employability but creators of wealth.
He said that this would be done by also focusing on Information and Communication Technology (ICT) to improve curriculum development with renewed focus on human component on infrastructure.
“ We have done so well in physical infrastructure and we will continue to do so but we also must focus on those we entrusted with the evaluation of our students.
“ We must focus on the type of curriculum that is being taught and the delivery systems go use,’’ he added.
The new TETFund boss said the fund would work with critical stakeholders such as vice chancellors of universities, rectors, provosts as well as the staff unions such as ASUU, ASUP, COEASU.
He said this would help get feedback and as well access tonnes areas they would want to see improvement.
He said that it would also help on how better the fund could judiciously deploy the resources trusted in its care for the development of education in the country.
Echono, therefore, expressed appreciation to the out-gone Executive Secretary, Prof. Sulaiman Bogoro for his service to the country, tertiary education and the fund.
In his comment, Bogoro said that the transition had demonstrated that the new TETFund boss would work seamlessly to raise the bar of the achievement of the fund going forward.
He commended Echono for his role as a member of the board of trustees of TETund since 2019 in moving tertiary education forward.
Bogoro, therefore, presented his handover note which included the summary of his achievements as the head of the fund.
He said that the annual intervention budget of the fund was a key factor that had facilitated the development of the fund.
“As I handover, I can reflect over the remarkable achievement of the fund. In the area of ranking, Nigerian universities have improved and we must give credit to the fund.
“When I came in 2014, I came to address the research culture and the board of trustees approved an R and D department.
“This is because universities must demonstrate their relevance, so we made a case for the department of Rand D,’’ he said.
Bogoro commended members of staff for their support in driving the department, while urging the new executive secretary to meet the expectations as required by the laws.
He said that a number of breakthroughs had therefore been made from research, adding that most recently the fund had committed monies into improving virtual library in the institutions.
He said that there had also been increase in the annual research budget, adding that the fund had also committed more fund to content development.
According to him, N5billion was released in 2019, N7.5 billion in 2021, N8.5billion for 2021 for research.
Bogoro said that this represented a progressive increase in the release of fund for research in the country.
He said that the International Science Granting Council had identified TETFund as an institution to put their money, while managing it in the area of research.
The new TETFund boss before now was a retired permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education. (NAN)