FG threatens to stop funding tertiary institutions with poor performance – Newstrends
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FG threatens to stop funding tertiary institutions with poor performance

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Professor Tahir Mamman, Minister of Education

FG threatens to stop funding tertiary institutions with poor performance

The federal government has said the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) will defund any non-performing centre of excellence it established eight years ago.

Professor Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, said the government will not continue to reward indolence by giving free money to institutions that are not doing what they are supposed to do.

The minister spoke while receiving two reports of TETFund’s ad hoc committees on Assessment/Review of TETFund Centres of Excellence and Operationalisation of Skills Development Special Intervention.

“The government is encouraging our scholars to simply rise to the occasion and deliver on their scholarship, what world class scholars do; and we are not going to reward indolence. We can’t be giving free money to institutions that are not doing what they are supposed to do.

“In terms of the skill, we want to raise the equipment level of those institutions, polytechnic and others so that they can provide all the skill set that we need in Nigeria in the highest quality that can service the country and internationally,” he said.

On his part, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc Sonny Echono, said the fund will not continue to throw money away to centres that are not living up to expectations.

Echono disclosed that some centres have funds with TETFund that they have not accessed since inception.

“The funds are with us because we have not released until you reach a milestone, but while they have delayed in reaching those milestones, are causes of concerns.

The TETFund boss noted that the strategy for establishing centres of excellence was a very good one because TETFund realised that it didn’t have enough resources to improve all the facilities of all public institutions at the same time.

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“The idea was to incubate, to have one centre, the right equipment, the right tools, the right faculty and experts, that would lead our efforts in research, in promoting scholarship at the highest level so that they can also inspire other centres.

“We are going to be pooling from other institutions within the area who want to do further research or who want to carry out any other exploratory study in those particular fields in those areas,” he said.

He said some of the centres have done fantastically well since inception, stating that a lot of them are doing innovations.

“Sokoto just came up with one major solution for us. For example, they were the ones that discovered this vaccine for Covid, in partnership with other institutions. Now we are also in the process of getting vaccines for Lassa fever and so many others.

“So, some are doing very well. And some have come up with prototypes that we now hoping to take to industries so that they begin to produce these goods and services,” he said.

On the non-performing institutions, he said, “If you were established five years ago and you are still at your infancy, you have not been able to provide modern laboratories, facilities for scholars to come and learn, we want to know why. But we don’t want to be arbitrary.

“So, it decided to look at some institutions to find out their relative positions in terms of the quality of their faculty, their reputation in certain courses and in certain areas and designated them as centres of excellence for those particular courses.

Earlier, the Committee on the Assessment/Review of TETFund Centres of Excellence, led by Prof Oyewale Tomori, in its report, decline to recommend any centre for upgrade

The report noted that most centres did not utilise their first seed grant of N150 million for the initial infrastructures required in the centres, and advised TETFund to provide some bail out funds to the centres to enable the proper take off of the centres.

The committee also called on the fund to ensure that all funds for the Centre of Excellence are disbursed directly to the Centre of excellence account.
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“If the Centres are to achieve set objectives, TETFund in collaboration with institutions hosting the centres should ensure that Centre Directors are on full time assignment at the Centre.

“All Centres that are not performing well should be given six months moratorium as a way to prevail on them to refocus and achieve their true mandate after which a revisit will be conducted to determine their status and continue funding,” the committee recommended.

Also presenting the Report of the Advisory Committee on Operationalisation of TETFund Skills Development Special Intervention, the Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Nuru Yakubu, said the committee recommended polytechnics for TETFund Special Intervention according to zones.

“South-West: The five schools visited have shown preparedness except for the Polytechnic Ibadan because of the school leadership transition. It is therefore recommended that in 2024 the following two polytechnics should benefit; Federal Polytechnic, Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State and Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Osun State for 2025 the committee recommends Federal Polytechnic, Ilaro, Ogun State and The Polytechnic Ibadan, if they can sort out their preparations.

“South-South: The committee recommends Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Rimuola, Rivers State, and Akwa Ibom State Polytechnic Ikot Osunaa for 2024 TETFund Special Intervention. For the year 2025, the committee recommends Delta State Polytechnic and another polytechnic to be identified

“South-East: The Institute of Management and Technology has been recommended for 2024 and for 2025, Abia State Polytechnic, Aba and Federal Polytechnic, Oko.

“North-East: The committee recommends Federal Polytechnic, Bauchi and Ramat Polytechnic, Maiduguri for 2024 Intervention and Adamawa State Polytechnic and Tatari Ali Polytechnic for 2025.

“North-West: 2024 Birnin Kebbi, Daura for 2025 Kano State Poly, Sokoto State Poly and North-Central: 2024 Nasarawa and for 2025 Lokoja and Ilorin.

FG threatens to stop funding tertiary institutions with poor performance

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BREAKING: Only applicants from federal institutions can access student loans – FG

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BREAKING: Only applicants from federal institutions can access student loans – FG

Managing Director of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND), Akintunde Sawyerr, has revealed that a maximum of 1.2 million students across federal tertiary institutions will access the students’ loans in its opening phase.

Speaking ahead of the portal’s formal launch for applications on Friday, he stated that students enrolled in federal tertiary institutions whose institutions have finished uploading their data would be able to apply in the first phase.

Sawyerr stated that potential candidates can start the application process as early as May 24, but stressed that the loan application process has been simplified to provide simple access for all qualified students in federal tertiary institutions.

According to Sawyerr, the program is an essential part of President Bola Tinubu’s administration’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

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Its purpose is to give needy students financial support (obligatory fees and stipends) so they can pursue their academic objectives without worrying about the financial burden.

He also added that the Fund will pay 100 percent of institutional fees directly to the institutions of learning account while also providing stipends to the students monthly based on when school is in session.

He stressed the importance of some of the key features of the student loan including, No physical contact between the loan applicant and NELFUND, a user-friendly Loan Application portal, comprehensive support where applicants can access online support to assist and flexible repayment plans.

He said: “We encourage all students in federal institutions to take advantage of this opportunity to secure the required financial assistance for their education. Applicants must submit their applications as early as possible to ensure timely processing.”

BREAKING: Only applicants from federal institutions can access student loans – FG

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Wigwe varsity becomes most expensive Nigerian university, unseats Nile, Baze

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Wigwe University

Wigwe varsity becomes most expensive Nigerian university, unseats Nile, Baze

“I cannot change the world overnight. But if I can empower even one youth today, or tomorrow, they could join me in empowering others. With time, we could change the world,” were the words of the late Herbert Wigwe, the founder of Wigwe University, Port Harcourt, Rivers State.

Wigwe, who died in a helicopter crash alongside his wife, Chizoba, and son, Chizzy, in the United States, was also a co-founder of Access Holdings (owners of Access Bank PLC).

The school, located in Isiokpo, Port Harcourt, when inaugurated in August 2024, could be Nigeria’s most expensive university, topping the likes of Covenant University, Otta; Nile University, Abuja; Pan-Atlantic University, Lagos, and Baze University, Abuja, which are said to be some of Nigeria’s most expensive universities.

The varsity which is set to open its gates to its first set of students in August is also said to be run fully on 24-hour electricity and WiFi.

According to the school’s website, it also has an active conservation plan.

“With environmental protection as one of our eight sustainability pillars, we not only prioritise our impact but have looked to the area’s natural state to guide our campus design and planning.

“Port Harcourt’s tropical rainforest and indigenous plant species, lost through previous agricultural practices, are actively being reintroduced, whilst stormwater attenuation, vegetation, and fauna conservation direct our landscaping. Pedestrian, cyclist, and electric people-mover campus routes, along with forest walking/jogging/cycling trails, connect students to our surrounding environment, encouraging a lifelong love of nature,” it stated.

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The university will offer a diverse range of programmes across four major colleges – the College of Management and Social Sciences, the College of Art, the College of Science and Computing, and the College of Engineering.

Since the school mentioned that it would commence its first session in August, it has set off public debates among educational stakeholders, parents, and prospective students.

Many have said the university would only just be for the elite who could afford it but would not be made available to the children of the poor.

However, some others on the other side of the divide, have said quality education does not come cheap, adding that anyone who can not afford it should go to a school they can afford.

With the fees said to be as high as N12m per session, the university could become, undoubtedly, Nigeria’s most expensive university.

A check on the school’s website shows that the cheapest fee is the College is Arts which stands at N9.6m.

Students taking courses in the College of Engineering, College of Management and Social Sciences, and College of Science and Computing will pay a total fee of  N11,998,800 each.

The fees cover tuition, books, laboratory supplies and consumables, personal protective equipment, project lab resources, e-learning resources, health insurance, student membership in professional associations, student activities, and facilities maintenance.

There are also additional charges covering accommodation fees which include the luxury single-bedroom apartment plan at N1,000,000 per month, premium one en-suite bedroom plan at N3,845,000  per session, classic one plan at N3,707,000 per session and classic two plan at N3,500,000 per session.

The management of the university, while defending its decision to charge in dollars, recently stated that home students would pay their fees in naira, while international students could select the dollar payment option.

It also said the decision was a strategic one that aligned with its vision to attract a diverse and international student body.

School’s defence

Defending the fees, the university said it was unwavering in its commitment to excellence in education and the shaping of future African leaders.

Wigwe varsity becomes most expensive Nigerian university, unseats Nile, Baze

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FG fixes May 24 to open student loan portal

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FG fixes May 24 to open student loan portal

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) says the application portal for students’ loan scheme will open on 24th May 2024.

This is contained in a statement signed by Nasir Ayitogo -Media and Public Relations Lead of NELFUND, on Thursday.

He said the move marks a significant milestone in the commitment of President Bola Tinubu to fostering accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.

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The statement reads in full : “The management of Nigerian Education Loan Fund (NELFUND) led by its Managing Director, Mr Akintunde Sawyerr are thrilled to announce 24th of May, 2024 as official date for the opening of portal for student loan applications.

This marks a significant milestone in the commitment of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (GCFR) to fostering accessible and inclusive education for all Nigerian students.

Through the portal, students can now access loans to pursue their academic aspirations without financial constraints.

The portal provides a user-friendly interface for students to submit their loan applications conveniently.

We encourage all eligible students to take advantage of this opportunity to invest in their future and contribute to the growth and development of our nation.

Students can access the portal on www.nelf.gov.ng to begin application.

For more information and assistance, please contact NELFUND via email on info@nelf.gov.ng or contact us via our social media handles.”

FG fixes May 24 to open student loan portal

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