85% of Nigerian varsities lack hostels – TETFund

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Chairman, Board of Trustees of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, says 85 percent of public varsities in Nigeria lacks hostel facilities.

Imam made this disclosure during the week at Gombe State University, during a hearing on the utilization of staff intervention programme.

He revealed that TETFUND would build over 160,000 hostels to shock the shortfall in four years, adding that aside from sponsorship of scholars, the board has identified three areas including power generation, provision of Information and Communications Technology, and hostel accommodation.

According to Imam, this was based on revelations made by the National Universities Commission.

He said, “I was privileged to attend a briefing in the office of the honorable Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in the cause of which the National Secretary of the Universities Commission announced that hostel accommodation is just barely 15 percent across our institutions. Meaning 85 percent of all Nigerian students are not accommodated.

“We have taken up this as a challenge, we are rolling out a program that will provide in four years the provision of 160,000-bed spaces across 100 institutions.

“Second area of focus is in the provision of ICT. TETFUND will deploy the necessary infrastructure that will facilitate e-learning across the various institutions. The next area of focus is the issue of power, TETFUND will partner with another federal agency known as Rural Electrification Agency.”

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Abscondment by academic staff

The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) also lamented the growing cases of abscondment by academic staff of various Nigerian universities sponsored for training in a foreign country.

According to TETFund, a training intervention for academic staff which was to address the needs of Nigeria’s higher institutions of learning is being abused, and that it is slowly becoming a major problem affecting the education system

This was disclosed by the Director in charge of Academic Staff Training and Development (AST&D), TETFund, Malam Muhammed Sulaiman, while speaking at the interactive season on training utilization which was organized by TETFund at the Gombe State University (GSU).

‘The department of AST&D is guided by the guidelines for accessing the intervention and I believe these guidelines are well spelled and distributed to the beneficiary institutions,’ he said.

‘The issue of sponsoring scholars particularly to outside the country and some of them decide to change their institution of study without recourse to TETFund is one of our challenges.

‘Some institutions (I don’t want to call names) will be given the approval to study outside and would proceed to their studies but at the end of the day will not come back to the country to serve their bond or to continue their jobs as lecturers, these are some of the problems,’ Malam stated.

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He further revealed that the department is engaging the benefiting institutions with the view of find solutions to the problem. ‘Also we have been working internally at the TETFund to put some measures to curtail this act,’ he said.

He added that TETFund had invested a lot in the area of training and retraining of lecturers ‘and this investment has really changed the narratives.

‘Before the intervention (by AST&D) records showed that only about 40 percent of the Nigerian lecturers have PhD and Masters and after the intervention, the figure or the percentage raised to about 90 percent,’ the director said.

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