Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

Dr. Abdullahi Bichi  Baffa  And The Task Of Piloting TETFUND

Dr. Abdullahi Bichi  Baffa

AMALGAMATED NETWORK OF CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATIONS IN NIGERIA (ANOSCOIN).

Address: Suite 136, Deo- Gratias Plaza,

Utako District, Abuja.

Tel: 09039094636, 08099089448.

Our View of TETFUND.

 

Dr. Abdullahi Bichi  Baffa  And The Task Of Piloting TETFUND

We, in Amalgamated Network of Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria (ANOSCOIN) have carefully followed the progress in Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND), since it’s new Executive Secretary (ES) Dr Abdullahi Baffa took over the mantle of leadership. ANOCSOIN have always maintained that the Change mantra of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government can only be meaningful, if right people are appointed into positions of authority. Since August 3, 2016, when Dr Baffa took charge of affairs in TETFUND, the establishment appears to have been rejuvenated.

ANOCSOIN was happy to note that the ES did not waste time in calling a spade by its name, by exposing on the 24th of August 2016, barely three weeks on assumption of office, a long standing high level fraud involving some academics and staff of his organization.  According to him, the lecturers and the staff had abused the intervention funds of the agency on pretext that they were pursuing further academic qualifications or attending conferences.

 

He particularly disclosed that the scholars and the staff were awarded sponsorship to attain further degrees as well as attend conferences but ended up abandoning such programmes and used the monies for other purposes. The development, according to him, violates the terms of approvals the funds were granted to them. To this end, the Executive Secretary vowed that henceforth, violators of the intervention funds would not go without facing the full wrath of the law. The TETFUND boss, who decried the detected infractions and described it as “very unfortunate”, said: ‘’a situation where some scholars and other staff engaged in the abuse of intervention processes by not adhering to guidelines stipulated by the Fund must stop.’’ We expect those involved in this fraud to be prosecuted after investigation.

TETFUND under Baffa appears to be exhibiting transparency in its operations, and tertiary institutions in Nigeria stand to reap bountifully from the agency. The task before TETFUND now is to ensure that the tertiary institutions in the six geo-political zones of the country benefit from its intervention in the provision of necessary funds for infrastructural development. ANOCSOIN is happy to note that the ES expressed his unflinching resolve to adhere strictly to the provisions of the TETFUND Act in carrying out the activities of the agency, just as he described transparency and accountability as his watch words.

On the issue of cutting-edge research that will enhance development in the country, the comment from the agency’s ES that only 10% of proposals they received from applicants is fundable, is not encouraging. It is a sad commentary that eight years after the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) instituted the N3billion National Research Fund (NRF) to enhance research activities in tertiary institutions; only N1.72 billion of the fund has so far been accessed by lecturers due to the poor quality of research proposals. ANOCSOIN will like to advise that TETFUND should as a matter of national importance; encourage researches that will lead to rapid development of Nigeria. The vision of this intervention, which is to deliberately promote the evolution of a knowledge-based, globally-competitive, research and development-driven socioeconomic development process in Nigeria, should in a nutshell, be adhered to.

We have no doubt in our mind that Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa-led TETFUND, is poised to deliver on its crucial mandate, the agency should however, work with stakeholders in the industry to ensure a seamless coordination for crucial mandate delivery.   .

Signed:

November 21, 2017.

 

Emeka Oraetoka {Chancellor}                                  Ipalibo Hart {Secretary}  

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