“I count him braver who overcomes his desires and vision than him who overcomes his enemies.” – Aristotle (Greek Philosopher)
TETFUND: How Bogoro’s 2020 vision is yielding results
By Fatai Ibrahim
Wallace Huey, author and co-founder of Trans4mind Limited, must have had Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro in mind when he said: “Good vision gives rise to burning desire, burning desire leads to focused intent and focused intent stimulates committed action.”
As a man of action whose intention is very clear about education, the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Fund (TETFund), Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoro, in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s transparent and accountability policy, has approved the commencement of monitoring of TETfund-sponsored participants to local and foreign conferences to ensure that staff of beneficiary institutions attend the conference as approved for them by the Board of Trustees of TETfund.
Bogoro reveals that over 60% of lecturers in the Nigerian University system today are now Doctorate degree holders as against 40 per cent that was obtainable four years ago. Bogoro’s reforms also include the maximum sponsorship of three years for Doctorate degree programme to four years’ period.
“When we started the idea of supporting Masters’ Degree, but mainly PhD sponsorship both overseas and local at that time, only 40% of Nigerian lecturers had PhDs. After about three to four years of that intervention, the percentage went up to 60% and today we believe it is in the region of 70 to 80 per cent,which is a significant improvement,” Prof. Bogoro stated.
On impact assessment committee, Prof. Bogoro said his team has succeeded in putting up an independent committee. The leadership and composition are exclusively made up of independent persons. The document tells the story of TETfund from 1999 to 2019. Bogoro said: “In our own way of opening up ourselves for public scrutiny, where we have weakness, we will be happy to be reflective, go back and be guided by their suggestions.”
At the polytechnic level, Prof Bogoro’s intervention includes: fabrication intervention. Nigerian polytechnics get subvention annually for fabrication while Colleges of Education (COEs) are also not left out. Bogoro’s initiatives at the COEs also include the support of teaching practice as well as making available micro teaching laboratory equipment and at the universities, Entrepreneurship Fund is provided by TETFund and Bogoro is deliberately encouraging it knowing well that knowledge is power and very relevant.
“Let our graduates be job creators, not only employable which is a higher threshold than just being employable” Prof. Bogoro was quoted to have said in The Nation newspaper of December 7th, 2019. Manuscript development is also one of key interventions under the dynamic leadership of Prof. Suleiman Bogoro, which include; the support of textbook production by lecturers and supporting the transformation of PhD thesis to textbook and in line with this, the technical advisory committee inaugurated recently is doing well in this regard.
Bogoro said: “There are also journals, which is another area of intervention by TETFund. There is mechanical pathology, anthropology, criminology of artificial intelligence, artificial dissemination, which applies to every discipline including ICT, Architects and Society of Engineers and so forth.
Bogoro has revealed that the underline factor for his achievements is focus coupled with team work as captured by Henry Ford’s quote who said: ‘Working Together is Success. “Focus is secret of my numerous achievements recorded since assumption of office and I have justified the confidence reposed in me as the Executive Secretary TETfund by turning around the stories of Nigerian’s public tertiary institutions within the shortest time that I took over the mantle of leadership of TETfund.”
Bogoro commissioned the ICT centre on 24th April 2019 at Gombe State University funded with (2013 Special Intervention Fund) and the commissioning of TETfund–funded 2019 Special Intervention High Impact Projects at the University of Port-Harcourt on 30th March 2019 as well as commissioning of University Of Lagos Academic Publishing Centre among others on 30 March, 2019.
There was also the commissioning of Academic Publishing Centre and other completed projects at University of Calabar on 27th and 28th February 2019. Federal University at Gusau Zamfara State is not left out as gigantic and legacy projects were commissioned by Prof. Bogoro and his team from the 23rdto 25th January 2020. In the same vein, on 1st November 2019, commissioning of special intervention and 2013 ICT centre projects were successfully carried out at the University of Jos. Bogoro and his team also commissioned the special annual intervention projects from 6th to 8th December, 2019.
There was also the iconic commissioning of TETfund projects on 12th December 2019 (TETfund 2014 normal intervention projects) at the Federal University Lokoja. Interestingly, landmark and legendary projects were also commissioned by Bogoro and his team from 26th to 30th November, 2019 at the University of Benin, Ambrose Ali University Ekpoma, Edo State, Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku, Delta State University Abraka, Imo State University, Owerri, Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwu and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
In line with global standard and practice, TETfund is now a global brand, and has embraced renewable energy to light up the higher institutions as seen in Bayero University Kano (BUK). According to Bogoro, “Renewable energy is the major quest for sustainable development in western world today and with this centre now in operation at Bayero University (BUK) Kano, it is expected that Nigeria would seek goal in earnest”.
If Bogoro could achieve these feats within 365 days of his reinstatement by our amiable and unique President Muhammadu Buhari, one could say, without any fear of contradiction that the TETfund supremo would bring a new lease of life to our higher education system in Nigeria in no distant time.
It was the late wordsmith, Prof Chinua Achebe, in his book: “Things Fall Apart”, who pointedly said: “A lizard that falls down from high Iroko tree will praise himself if no one else does.” Prof. Bogoro you are on the right path as you take TETfund to the next and desired level in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s vision of altruistic transformation of our education system.
Ibrahim is alumnus of the Faculty of Law, University of Abuja.