By KWANTON DOUGLAS
Vice Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, North-Central Nigeria, Prof. AbdullahiBala has said that without the intervention efforts of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), most public higher institutions in the country would have gone into oblivion.
Prof. Bala made the statement in Minna during the recent convocation of the university where the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. AbdullahiBichiBaffa commissioned the Phase II Complex building for the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology sponsored by the Fund.
Speaking in the school, the Vice Chancellor had explained to the visiting TETFund team that the landscape surrounding the commissioned edifice will soon be completed to help add the aesthetic beauty of the project.
TETFund’s Director, Corporate Affairs and Public Relations, Ebikwo Benn, in a statement on Sunday, quoted the Vice-Chancellor as saying: “This building is the Phase II of the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology. We have had serious shortages of office and classroom accommodation at the Phase I of the School and the management of the University deemed it wise that we build additional complex for the School.
“So we are happy that the funding is from TETFund and actually if you look around here, most of the buildings were funded by TETFund and I know that like Oliver Twist we will always come back to ask for more but before coming to ask for more, we want to show TETFund what we have been doing with your money, that is why we felt it necessary that you be here with us today.
“We confirm the support we have been enjoying from TETFund, in enhancing the landscape of our campus through funding of critical projects. Indeed, in the words of my predecessor, public higher institutions in Nigeria would have gone into oblivion without TETFund” he added.
In his remarks while commissioning the project, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Dr. AbdullahiBichiBaffa expressed his delight with the quality and size of the projects, reiterating that it meets the expectation and specification of TETFund as it has to do with iconic projects.
Congratulating the staff and students of the university over the successful completion and commissioning of the project, Dr.Baffa explained that TETFund is poised to help tertiary institutions put in place iconic structures that will not only boost the self-esteem of the students but ensure that campuses of Nigerian universities boast of structures that can be compared to what is obtainable in other countries.
According to him, “We are happy that the School of Agriculture and Agricultural Technology is completed. We are also excited with the size, the quality of the finishing, we believe that this will help in no small ways in expanding the access and in providing space for more students that are going to study Agriculture and Agricultural Technology and such other related courses.
“This is in keeping with one of our core mandate of providing essential infrastructure for teaching and learning and like I say times and again, we are so interested in seeingbeneficiary institutions putting in place, Iconic structures that are beautiful, that are useful with very high utility value and that are very qualittative in finishing. This structure meets our requirements for Iconic building that is big, that is qualitative.
“I want to congratulate the community of Federal University of Technology, Minna under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor for fulfilling this very important requirement of TETFund. We have been arguing time and again that we will not want our students who finished their primary school and we say they are being promoted to go to secondary school but the buildings they left in their primary school are the same buildings they met in their secondary school.
“They finished secondary school and they are going to university, the same matchbox structure that they left in their secondary school, they come to the university and they see the same structure, and we are telling them they are getting promotion, they are growing but they are meeting the same thing.
“The environment where we teach and learn is very verycrucial to the success of the learning process and that is why we believe that the university environment is where to come and copy everything about quality structure, big structure, beautiful structure and this really fits into that description”
Dr. Baffa further explained that the resolve of TETFund to vigorously pursue its strategic mandate of providing essential infrastructure for teaching and learning was in keeping to the promise made by PresidentMuhammaduBuhari, of ensuring quality education at all levels as well as the provision in the Ministerial Strategic Plan of expanding access to higher education.
During the convocation, a total of 3,741 students graduated with 62 bagging first class degrees.