Written by Godfrey AKON

TETFund to build over 200,000 hostels

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, says it plans to construct over 200,000 hostel accommodation across its 230 beneficiary institutions to tackle the deficit of hostel accommodation.

Executive Secretary of TETFund, Prof Suleiman Bogoro, who disclosed this at the 2020 TETFund Board of Trustees, BoT, Retreat in Abuja, said only 15 per cent of Nigerian students were currently living in hostel accommodation in their institutions.

Bogoro said approval has been made from the 2020 budget for TETFund to aggressively commit funds to reverse the embarrassing situation of hostel accommodation in tertiary institutions and make learning environment more attractive for local and foreign students.

He also noted that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an increase of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, National Research Fund, NRF,  to N7.5 billion for the year 2020 from an initial N3 billion.

The TETFund boss said the latest approval makes the agency the largest holder of research grants in Nigeria.

He further disclosed that Buhari also approved the establishment of six medical simulation research and clinical training facilities in six colleges of medicine in each geopolitical zone within the year.

According to him, the approval provided an opportunity for TETFund to provide twelve Covid-19 and related infectious disease molecular laboratories, two in each geopolitical zone, making the fund the highest single provider of Covid-19 test centres in Nigeria.

He also disclosed that the BoT of TETFund approved over N200 million, to sponsor some Covid-19 research proposals mainly from universities and NAFDAC

"In addition, the BOT also endorsed and was subsequently approved by the President that six Medical Simulation Research and Clinical Training facilities in six Colleges of Medicine (one in each geopolitical zone) are to be established this year.

"Individually, this provided an opportunity for twelve COVID-19 and related infectious disease Molecular Laboratories to be provided (two in each geopolitical zone), thus making TETFund the highest single provider of COVID-19 test Centres in Nigeria.

"The BoT also approved that TETFund sponsors some COVID-19 Research proposals to the tune of over N200 million, mainly from Universities and NAFDAC, this being one of the reasons TETFund has recently been made the Secretariat for the Nigeria Covid-19 Research Consortium R&D," he said.

He said the BoT has also directed management of the agency to make recommendations towards migration of e-learning consistent with global best practice.

Speaking on the achievements of TETFund between 2011 and 2019, the BoT Chairman, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, said the fund constructed 80 auditoriums and lecture theatres in the 223 beneficiary institutions.

Ibrahim-Imam noted that the fund also constructed 500 classrooms, 2,383 administrative and staff offices, 40 fully equipped libraries, 250 science laboratories, 38 ICT centres, 8 medical centres and sick bays, 100 vehicles and major infrastructures in the 12 newly established federal universities.

He said to consolidate on the achievements, the TETFund has made provision in the 2020 budget for emergency special intervention to the University of Abuja and Special high impact projects to six universities, one from each geopolitical zone.



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