Architect Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) says the issue of sharing formula for the normal intervention to tertiary institutions is entrenched in the law establishing the Fund and it requires amendment for any change to take place.
Echono made this submission while responding to the request of the Association of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria, COHEADS, to reconsider the sharing formula in favour of Polytechnics during their courtesy visit on him.
The Executive Secretary, who shared in the desire of Polytechnics that globally trends now are towards skills, innovation, and entrepreneurship, however, assured the association that TETFund support some forms of intervention that would enhance capacity of the Nigeria Polytechnics.
“Concerning your request, there are things we can do and there are things that beyond us. For example, the issue of sharing formula is entrenched in the law establishing Fund and required amendment of law to effect any change. But, however, in terms of special interventions, we do have some elements of input that the Board of Trustee can exercise and those areas we will support you,” said ES.
He commended polytechnics for being in the frontline of providing manpower for development of the national economy, charging COHEADS members to use the tremendous responsibility on them to ensure graduates are employable and are able to identify and fill skill gaps in the economy.
To achieve this, Echono said it required providing enabling environment in terms of facilities, in terms of right faculty and also to embrace continuous professional Programme that would enhance quality of education.
Speaking earlier, Chairman Council of Heads of Polytechnics and Colleges of Technology in Nigeria, COHEADS, Engr.(Dr) Mrs.Akinkurolere Olufunke Olanike who led the delegation on courtesy visit , felicitated with Echono on the well deserved appointment and tremendous improvement in the Fund’ s work and access to it quick responses.
Olanike acknowledged the role of the Fund in national development, affirmed that TETFund is leading in human and capital development.
She also acquainted the TETFund boss on the activities of the COHEADS which included, to provide a forum for Chief Executives of Polytechnics/ Colleges of Technology to exchange experiences, views and ideas on issues of common interest.
Others are to act as a catalyst for the growth and development of sound technical and vocational education in Nigeria; to make collective representations and responses to national and international issues involving all aspects of technical and vocational education in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, in her address, the chairman informed Executive Secretary that National Skills Framework, NSQF, has been added to Polytechnics’ mandate, stressing the need for TETFund to assist in the development of skills acquisition centres in the Polytechnics through special interventions.
She also announced that polytechnics staff members are expected to attend their Association of Technical Universities and Polytechnics in Africa, (ATUPA) biennial conference to present papers and discuss other issues relating to TVET.
The Chairman appealed to the Fund to allow Polytechnics to utilise the funds allocated for training to sponsor academic staff to attend.
COHEADS other demands included, for TETFund assist it in acquiring and developing Secretariat in Abuja and to reconsider sharing formula for the normal intervention to tertiary institutions in favour of Polytechnics.