TETFUND Boss pedigrees potent tool for management of Nigerian Universities

Arc. Sunny Echono, the newly appointed Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) and the immediate past Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Education, prescribes a new potent tool in the quest to revitalise the Nigerian University System geared toward delivering products that are more relevant and responsive to Nigeria’s current and future development aspirations.

TETFUND
TETFUND

This insightful prescription was made by the newly appointed TETFUND boss during a convocation lecture titled “Accelerating the Triple Helix: New Vistas in University Administration And Curriculum Delivery in Nigeria” at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka’s 15th and 16th combined convocation ceremony on Wednesday 16th March, 2022.

The immediate past permanent secretary of the federal ministry of education asserted that “The Triple Helix” framework emphasizes collaboration between academia, industry, and government, emphasizing that it has proven to be an effective tool for achieving needed improvements in University administration and quality delivery of curriculum, which would help the Nigerian University fulfill its mandate. While it is true that Nigerian universities are now governed under a committee system with a well-established structure,

According to Arc Echono, the University administration is supposed to display academic leadership via mobilization in order to harness all human and material resources for the efficient performance of its purpose. According to him, “experience has shown that the current reliance, or guideline, on academic qualifications, with little premium accorded to organizational capacity, administrative acumen, and experience, including the ability to supervise a workforce with diverse backgrounds, interest, ability, and lack of track records of attracting funding, endowments, research grants, effective collaboration and linkage with industry and development partners, has created a huge deficit.”

In order to promote industrial harmony on university campuses, the former president of the Nigerian Institute of Architects believes that for a university administrator to be successful in today’s operating environment, the focus must be directed towards prudence and judicious use of resources, as well as being conversant with due process principles and procedures while exchewing corruption.

While proposing a new arrangement for sabbatical leave in Nigerian universities, Arc Echono insisted that the current arrangement, in which a University teacher moves from one University department to a similar department in another University, offers little value creation beyond meeting staffing shortfalls. He therefore averred that sabbatical leave should offer a veritable opportunity for industrial and policy experience, as envisaged by the Triple Accord.

The new TETFUND Boss  also emphasized that, rather than the current sabbatical leave arrangement, academic and other eligible staff should be encouraged to access relevant Government establishments and industrial firms, while universities should be prepared to receive experts and staff from professional bodies, business, industrial firms, and government offices.

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