The Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, on Wednesday expressed regrets that institutions which benefitted from the N22.3 billion intervention fund in the last 10 years underutilised the funds.
The Chairman, Board of Trustees of the fund, Musa Babayo, said this at a capacity building programme for laboratory technologists in tertiary institutions in the North-Central and South-West in Ilorin.
The capacity building was entitled: “Enhancing the Capacity and Productivity of Technician/Technologists”.
Represented by Idris Saidu, TETFund former Executive Secretary, Mr. Babayo said the funds were released as intervention fund to procure technical and laboratory equipment for laboratories.
“However, some of the equipment are either never been installed, underutilised or not being properly maintained by the respective benefiting institutions,’’ he said.
According to him, the underutilisation is largely due to lack of trained laboratory technologists in the technical and vocational education in the country.
“Specifically, between 2004 and 2007, seven billion naira was allocated to technical and vocational education, while N15.3 billion was released in 2011 for technical/vocational equipment.
“This was through the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) to tertiary institutions,” he said.
He said that TETFund recognised the importance of laboratories and technologists in facilitating and enhancing teaching and research activities in scientific studies in tertiary institutions.
Mr. Babayo said this, therefore, aroused the interest of the fund in the provision of intervention fund for laboratory equipment in the tertiary institutions.
“It has, therefore, become imperative that we match capacity building programme to funds allocated for interventions in all tertiary institutions to ensure optimal benefit for the educational sector and the nation,’’ he said.
Also, Suleiman Bogoro, TETFund Executive Secretary, said the fund was committed to delivery of quality and would intervene toward the educational development of the nation.
Mr. Bogoro, a professor, implored other stakeholders in the education sector to continue their collaboration with the fund.
He said this would ensure the development of the required manpower to drive the Nigeria’s economy toward the attainment of the goals of Education for All and the Vision 20:2020.
The executive secretary said that the aim of the workshop was to increase efficiency of technicians and address problems encountered with installation and maintenance of the equipment.
Mr. Bogoro said the workshop would also ensure that equipment procured through TETFund interventions were judiciously utilised.
He said that it would also ensure proper maintenance of such equipment and bring technologists up to date on modern technology.