Written by Godfrey AKON

FG increases book development grant to N4.9bn

The Federal Government through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, has increased its book development intervention in tertiary institutions from N2.9billion to N4.9 billion.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, said the increase was to ensure massive development of manuscripts into quality academic publications.

Bogoro, who spoke in Abuja while inaugurating the Technical Advisory Group on Book Development Fund, said publication of academic books in the country was terribly low.

He said “The quality of book publication has been terribly low in Nigeria. You go around the city or even at the federal secretariat, vendors sell anything and call it book. We have the responsibility to stop it and change the narrative.

“A seed grant of N2billion was approved by the Board of Trustees for Book Development Fund, which is being utilized centrally for the development of manuscripts into textbooks. Subsequently, an additional sum of N2.95billion was added to the seed grant, making a total of N4.95billion, out of which N2.58billion has been utilized for the intended purpose.”

He therefore urged members of the group drawn from the six geo-political zones of the country, to ensure that only quality books are churned out in the nation’s higher education sub-sector.

“It is expected that nurturing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability  of relevant books in diverse subject areas that take cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities, it would safeguard national pride,” he said.

Bogoro further disclosed that TETFund has completed the construction of four Academic Publishing Centres in four universities in the country through the Book Development Fund, while three others will soon be completed.

He charged the group to harvest doctorate theses and masters dissertations from across beneficiary institutions for possible conversion to books; screen proposals on manuscripts, theses and dissertations for development into textbooks.

The TETFund boss also charged them to advise TETFund on submissions of professional associations to support production of learned journals, among others.

In his response, the chairman of Technical Advisory Group, Prof. Charles Awo, expressed the readiness of the group to deliver on its mandate

Awo expressed concern over the situation where most universities publishing houses now concentrate on the production of obituaries, invitation cards and almanacs instead of quality textbooks.

 

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