By Maryam Abeeb, Abuja
The Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, Professor Suleiman Bogoro has assured commitment towards human capital development through academic staff training and development
He made this assurance while responding to questions from the members of the Federal House of Representative Committee on Tertiary Education in Abuja during the oversight visit to the intervention Agency.
Bogoro said that there has been a paradigm shift by investing more in the content components rather than buildings or infrastructure in institutions.
He told the House Committee that over 200 institutions are on the beneficiary list of TETFund from the 15 areas of intervention of the fund which had progressively advanced the sector.
According to him, occasionally we have reasons to update and review and add the few areas of interventions that are considered very important.
He said: “We have to invest in the human capital through academic staff training and development. We have sponsored over 26000 for Ph.D. and Master degrees almost an equal number in overseas and within the country.
“We have recently introduced postdoctoral support for those who have just finished their Ph.D. up to a period of five years for the purposes of undertaking post-doctoral research.
He said that the research and development and center of excellence department of the fund had been supervising the utilization of the approved grant.
“Recently we approved 128 research grant and we are hoping if Mr. President approves a proposal that has been made by the board of trustees for an increase in the research grant, it will have a positive impact on the sector.
“We are therefore positive that we are likely to have an increment in that amount and with this, there is an increasing awareness in the Universities system that our Universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education cannot continue to emphasize teaching at the expense of research.
“That is the new area where we are investing massively. For some time now TETFund has been associated with merely building and we are saying that we want a paradigm shift. This is not to say that we will stop Physical infrastructure.
“We need them but even more important is the content of building the relevant areas of support of competitiveness of Universities,” he said.
Chairman, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services, Mr. Suleiman Aminu promised to ensure the protection of the fund and to exploit areas where the fund would move from the present 2 percent to an agreeable percent.
Aminu said this would allow the fund to continue to exercise their work.