By Gift Samuel, The Sight News
President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the interventions of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in tertiary institutions, describing it as the catalyst for achieving the desired knowledge-based economy for Nigeria by the present administration.
The President who spoke during the 2nd and 3rd Combined Convocation of Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State urged TETFund to continue in its meaningful and purposeful interventions to all public owned tertiary institutions in the country.
According to him, “I am also happy with the special role of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) in the physical and academic development of this young university. It is clear, that since the establishment of the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma, the TETFund has remained the single, largest development agent in the institution.
“I urge the TETFund to continue to offer meaningful and purposeful interventions in Nigeria’s higher education institutions to help in realizing our government’s desire to create a knowledge based economy in Nigeria”
Speaking further, the President who was represented by the Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Adamu Rasheed expressed delight over the completion and commissioning of multi-billion Naira physical infrastructure projects sponsored by TETFund at the University.
He explained that the physical projects ranging from Senate Building, Buildings for Faculties of Agriculture and Science, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Complex, Library building, Faculty of Agriculture Laboratories, Students’ Hall of Residence (Hostels) for Male and Female which were commissioned by the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa as part of the convocation ceremony was clear indication of the resolve of his administration to tackle the problem of access to tertiary education in the country.
Reiterating the commitment of his administration to wean the country from over dependence on the oil sector towards achieving sustainable economic prosperity, President Buhari promised that he would continue fighting the challenge of unemployment, particularly graduate unemployment through the creation of a thriving and dynamic labour market that would enable young people achieve their full potentials as self-employed entrepreneurs and employers of labour rather than merely job seekers.
“I want to challenge all Nigerian Universities to come out of their shell to build constructive linkages and collaborations with the industrial sector of the society. This remains the vibrant way we can enhance the socio-economic and technological transformation of our society.
“Government on its part will continue to give maximum support to University Education despite dwindling resources available to it. However, all Universities should seriously consider more efficient ways of resource mobilization and also find ways of attracting funding for research from across the world.
Also speaking at the event, the Chancellor of the University, His Majesty, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, and the Ag. Vice Chancellor, Prof. Armaya’u Hamisu Bichi thanked the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for the facilities at the university while urging for more intervention to help the university move to its permanent site soonest.
On his part, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa who spoke while commissioning the projects, lauded management of the University for delivering quality works with TETFund interventions and promised that his management will not rest on its oars in pursuing interventions that will meet the desires of the Federal Government under the direction of the Honourable Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu.
Dr. Baffa explained that provision of infrastructure for conducive teaching and learning activities were aimed at ensuring that the dream of increased access to quality higher education for all Nigerians by Mallam Adamu Adamu becomes a reality.
It is pertinent to state that aside the normal annual interventions from TETFund to the Federal University, Dutsin-Ma since inception, the university had benefitted to the tune of about N5billion as Special Intervention for Take-Off Grant, Proto-type Hostels, Academic Buildings etc.
A total of 837 students graduated during the convocation with 42 bagging First Class degrees.