In a recent development, the President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, has raised strong objections to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund)’s proposal to extend its project support to private universities.
Prof Osodeke expressed his concerns during a two-day interactive session held between TETFund and representatives from various beneficiary institutions.
Prof Osodeke voiced apprehensions that such a move would potentially lead to the proliferation of private universities without sufficient emphasis on maintaining educational quality standards.’
He urged TETFund to prioritize enhancing its project monitoring mechanisms across the nation. He emphasized that the performance levels of beneficiary institutions varied significantly despite receiving equal amounts of funding.
Furthermore, he called for TETFund to impose sanctions on underperforming institutions and advocated for eliminating what he termed the “stakeholders fund.”
In a determined stand, Prof Osodeke declared, “ASUU will continue to resort to strike actions until the necessary reforms are implemented within our tertiary institutions. The concept of a ‘stakeholders fund’ must be eliminated.”
Arch. Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, revealed that the interactive session was designed as a proactive measure to address the ongoing challenges within the education sector.
Echono expressed his hopes that this interaction would create a conducive environment to identify and address the challenges in delivering quality education in educational institutions, and contribute to the effective execution of TETFund’s objectives.
Echono also stated, “This session is expected to serve as a platform for discussions on mitigating industrial disputes in the tertiary education sector and devising strategies to prevent and resolve them.”
During the event, former President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, commended TETFund for its unwavering commitment to enhancing the quality of education and experiences for both academic and non-academic staff, as well as the student population in campuses throughout the country. Wabba emphasized the invaluable role of trade unions in tertiary education institutions in achieving these objectives.
The contentious issue of TETFund’s expansion to include private universities remains a subject of ongoing debate, with ASUU and other stakeholders continuing to voice their concerns and demands for reforms.