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Why I sponsored TETFund amendment bill – Sen. Adamu

By Cecilia Ijuo
Abuja, Sept. 6, 2020

Sen. Abdullahi Adamu (APC-Nasarawa), says the ongoing amendments to the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) Act is part of efforts to reinvigorate Colleges of Agriculture (COA), to enable them contribute meaningfully to national development.
Adamu, who is the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, stated this in an interview with the New Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday.
He said that the amendment among other things would enable the colleges to benefit from the TETFund.
NAN reports that Fund was established as an intervention agency under the TETFund Act 2011.
It was charged with the responsibility for managing, disbursing and monitoring the education tax to public tertiary institutions in the country.
Adamu, a former governor of Nasarawa State, said that lack of proper funding for the COA had greatly hampered the objectives for its creation.
He said the TETFund Act (Amendment) Bill 2019, which had scaled first and second reading and currently before the relevant committee when passed and signed into law would restore the fortunes of the colleges.
He noted that while other higher institutions of learning were benefitting from the Fund, it was not the same with the COA.
The senator lamented that the colleges were benefitting from the TETFund at a point but for some reasons it was stopped.
“The effect of stopping COA from benefitting from the TETFund is that there is no attraction for good lecturers to stay and work in the colleges.
“Those who are benefitting from the Fund often take away the good hands from the COA to their institutions because they have the financial capability.
“As a result, the colleges are becoming less significant and less attractive for academicians.
“So, for the colleges to have the where withal to develop infrastructure for those levels of educational pursuit for agriculture, the funds have to be made available,” he said.
Adamu stressed that ensuring adequate funding would change the fortunes of the colleges and enhance its operations.
He said the measure would encourage education of people to work in the agricultural sector such as extension workers and other specialists.
“If we do not have the right education work, if we do not have the right expertise in research and other things in colleges, we will not get the best.
“We are hoping that once the fortunes of these colleges improve, the performance will also improve.
“When that happens, the students will be improved species and it will be to the benefit of agriculture in Nigeria generally,” he added.
Commenting on the National Agricultural Research Council Act (Amendment) Bill, also before the National Assembly, Adamu said that he sponsored the bill to ensure adequate funding for the Council.
According to him, the Agricultural Research Council, meant to be an apex research institute in the country ought to be repositioned because it was not living up to the expectations.

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