The Educational Pendulum Swings Towards Accountability And Competency

By Muyiwa Onlede
Education as is widely-known, is the root of every development but unfortunately it was taken the back seat in Nigeria which was very sad and disheartening.  This was largely due to poor educational infrastructural facilities as a result of neglect and poor funding, inadequate classrooms, ill equipped or non-existent learning facilities, unqualified teachers, terrible learning environments and conditions, as well as some social vices plaguing the educational institutions- talk of strikes, cultism et al.
The educational system in Nigeria was best  described in tandem with infrastructural decay and distasteful conditions of service. Since no nation can develop above its educational system as education is akin to development, it became imperative  more than ever to find some solutions to the problems of dwindling resource allocation to the educational sector in Nigeria. Conscious effort was made towards qualitative and durable educational system so that Nigeria can stand up to be counted.
Hence the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) set up by the Federal Government of Nigeria ostensibly to arrest the rot and deterioration in the educational infrastructure occasioned by long period of neglect and very poor resource allocation.
Since independence, governments after governments have experimented with policies to improve this very vital sector, some of which have been laudable. However poor implementation, greed, corruption, misappropriation and lack of will have over time proven to be our stumbling block.
A close assessment of activities has also revealed that other irregularities in schools such as malpractices, strikes and the lack of will to learn on the part of the students have also contributed to the downfall of the educational system in Nigeria.
However the pendulum has swung from its retrogressive ethos to a more accountable and progressive competencies since the introduction of research based Economy and industrial harmony within the agency championed by the Executive Secretary Professor  Suleiman Elias Bogoro. This is said to be the highest level of performance that one will expect from an agency such as TETFUND.
Nigeria as a nation over the years has experienced dwindling economy due to the fact that we operate a monolithic economy that is hugely dependent on oil and after the crash of oil price in the international market , we  found ourselves in a state of uncertainty as a nation and something has and must be done.
Despite our arable land and human resources, available market and other indices that can make a nation economic independent, we are still dependent on grant from international communities as a nation.
But with the five years plan and previous effort of the present Executive secretary of Tertiary education Trust Fund (TETFUND) Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro, we are heading to somewhere great as a nation.
It took Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro the vision to see the importance of research in propelling a nation’s economy to the next level.
With the vision of the Executive Secretary and support of the President, TETFUND has been able to demonstrate that good governance and leadership is all about formulating ideas and implementation of such ideas and that is evident in the pilot research programme as instituted by TETFUND to engage twelve (12) Universities in research and development across different sectors, ranging from health, food security, economic development, food technology and renewable energy.
The huge sum of #1Billion allocated to each of the twelve universities we believe will in turn translate to huge success for Nigeria and her economy if the pilot universities decide to support TETfund in actualising the dream by doing  that which is right, just as Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro has demonstrated that if given opportunity to serve Nigerians, can deliver.
CAACASVI as an organisation in the vanguard of anti corruption finds it commendable after series of private investigation that a man saddled with the responsibility of managing a huge fund just as we have in TETFund could always be found not culpable of all allegations levelled against him since he assumed office as the Executive Secretary of TETFund.
As we painstakingly monitor and evaluate capital projects across the country, it is amazing to know that only few agencies like TETFund has projects cut across the 36 states of the federation and none abandoned and most completed.
Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoros loud voice and agitation for more and improved funding of education sector in Nigeria as a possible antidote to our underdevelopment, youth restiveness and improved economy can be heard even by the deaf and that may be the reason for his numerous enemies, because men who do good have no shortage of enemies.
Bogoro understands that there is no better time to encourage technical hands-on education than now. His administration as executive secretary has invested heavily in technology for both learning and teaching enough to compete globally, technical adaptation centers encouraged, and well-funded to put an end to the monolithic approach to knowledge.
Prof. Suleiman Elias Bogoros as a visionary leader is aware that the research sub-sector that was grossly neglected in Nigeria and played upon, is the basis for the socio economic, political, scientific and technological advancement of our most admired developed nations of the world today and took a bold step to address the infrastructural deficits in the sector.
This bold step need to be supported by the  federal government and other critical stakeholders in education and other sectors so that he can continue in this trajectory for better service delivery.
Comrade Olumuyiwa Onlede
Executive Director
Citizens Awareness Against Corruption and Social Vices Initiative (CAACASVI)
Writes from Abuja