The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has said it would spend N10 billion to develop critical infrastructure at the University of Abuja.
It stated that part of the money would go into the construction of a new senate building, and a 1,000 capacity international conference centre, while the agency would collaborate with the authorities of the university to develop a 2,000-bed space accommodation for the students.
The agency also stated that it would invest N1 billion each for the 12 Centres of Excellence which the University of Abuja is a part of.
Chairman, Tetfund Board, Alhaji Kashim Ibrahim-Imam, stated this during an interactive session with the management and students of the UNIABUJA.
“For the year 2020, I am happy to inform you that by the time we are done this year, we are looking at spending a total of N10 billion on critical infrastructure in the University of Abuja.
“Tetfund has designated the University of Abuja as a Centre of Excellence. We have 12 Centres of Excellence spread across the country and we are investing N1 billion in each of them. But we have also in consultation with the Vice-Chancellors decided that each of the universities will focus on one critical area. For Abuja, it is Governance and Leadership,” he said.
The BoT chairman said the agency would soon commence an on-the-spot assessment of its projects in over 50 universities in 18 states.
He said there would be a paradigm shift in needs assessment, interventions, and monitoring of such interventions by the agency in the nation’s tertiary educational institutions.
He said going forward; e-learning would enjoy priority in Tetfund’s interventions across Nigeria.
“A lot of money has been disbursed by Tetfund since its inception to better the 226 universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education. Tetfund’s interventions in the past three years and next year put together, is in the region of N1 trillion.
“So, our visit here is two-fold. Number one, we want to inspect, we want to see, we want to hear from you. Has Tetfund impacted? This is very important. Have we invested in critical infrastructure? What is the effect of our investments in research? Are we getting value for money?
“The second component is, what more should we do? There is a paradigm shift at Tetfund because we will not sit down at Tetfund to determine what your needs are. We must consult you, both management and students. What are the critical needs of the University of Abuja? What areas should Tetfund focus on? We want to be guided by you going forward.
“It wouldn’t do for us to just be throwing money. We want the money that we are spending to impact most positively on academia, on the faculties, on the students, on learning, on research,” he added.
Continuing, he said: “There is one very critical element that is the most important today, namely e-learning. So, Tetfund, in consultation with the University of Abuja will be investing in laying the necessary infrastructure that will facilitate e-learning on this campus. Towards this, already as I speak, 20km of fibre optics are being laid across the University.
“Today, I will also inspect the site where we are going to build a brand new and state-of-the-art ICT Centre. We want a place where students can learn in a 21st-century environment.”