The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, says it has spent N3.353 billion to sponsor 762 academicians in four tertiary institutions in Gombe State to further their studies in and outside the country.
Mohammed Suleiman, the Director of Academic Staff Training Development, TETFund, disclosed this in Gombe on Wednesday during a hearing at the Gombe State University on the utilisation of staff intervention programme organised by TETFUND.
He listed the benefitting institutions as Federal University Kashere, FUK; Gombe State University, GSU; Federal College of Education Technical, Gombe, and College of Education, Billiri.
“Funding of academic training was desirable and TETFund deems it fit to send academicians to get their Masters and PhD degrees in the United Kingdom, America and Nigeria.
He said before the introduction of the sponsorship, only 40 per cent of Nigerian lecturers have Masters and PhD degrees, but with the introduction of the intervention, the percentage increased to 90.
He said the investment had impacted positively in education sector because it has changed the narrative.
“We have identified more areas of intervention and is going to change the current situation in our institutions,” he said.
He said the four tertiary institutions that benefitted from the intervention would provide certain information of the scholars sponsored from 2015 to date, including financial record of the beneficiaries, copy of their thesis and certificates of resumption of duties.
Earlier, the Chairman Board of Trustees, TETFund, Kashim Imam, said in the past 10 years they have invested heavily on provision of infrastructure, but now the board would concentrate and focus on three identified critical areas.
He said the areas to focus on were hostel accommodation, because 85 per cent of Nigerian students were not accommodated; provision of ICT by deploying necessary infrastructure to facilitate eLearning across various institutions; and also provide power supply in the institutions.
“We are rolling out a programme that will in four years target the provision of 160,000 bed spaces across 100 institutions.
“For the pilot project in University of Abuja, we have deployed 20 kilometers of fibre optics, we have also constructed an innovation centre complete with lecture theatre, incubation and data room.
“In the area of power supply, TETFund will partner Rural Electrification Agency to ensure that power is provided in our institutions,” he said.
The Vice Chancellor, GSU, Prof. Aliyu El-Nafaty, appreciated the various intervention in the university being carried by TETFund.
Represented by Prof. Mahmoud Umar, Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC), said the institution is up to date in terms of provision of equipment and manpower as well as the area of training and development of staff.
He said the programme was a welcome idea because it would track performance thereby enhancing transparency.