The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has inaugurated three ad hoc committees with the task of upscale skills development in the country as well as strengthening the Fund’s intervention activities.

The Committee includes: Committee on operationalisation of equipment upgrade in workshops and laboratories for universities, polytechnics and colleges of education (technical).

The other committees are: Committee on assessment/review of TETFund centres of excellence and Committee on operationalisation of skills development special intervention.

Speaking at the inauguration of the committee members in Abuja on Monday, the Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, charged the committees to bring in their experience in the discharge of the national assignment.

Echono noted that the promotion of skills development was one of the priority area of government to address the prevailing challenges of youth unemployment and prevalence of poverty in our society.

“In line with the Fund’s commitment to deepen its content-based interventions, concerted efforts are made to identity more innovative ways to enhance research capacities of beneficiary institutions and promote skills development for the teeming youths,” he said.

Echono explained that the Fund made provision under the 2024 intervention for the upgrade of the equipment in Workshops and Laboratories for Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education (Technical).

According to him, to ensure effective implementation of the intervention, the Fund constituted an Advisory Committee chaired by Prof. Hayward Babale to advise on the operationalisation of the upgrade of equipment in Workshop and Laboratories of the institutions.

He said the committee was tasked with the reference of assessing the state of workshops and laboratories in target institutions including equipment and other facilities in use.

On the Committee on assessment/review of TETFund centres of excellence, Echono said the Fund under the 2024 intervention made provision for the upgrade of the most performing Centres.

The TETFund boss also said that the Fund was committed to the promotion of skills development, hence provision was made for skills development programme in Polytechnics under the Fund’s Special Interventions.

He said consequent upon this, the Fund constituted an advisory Committee chaired by Prof. Idris Bugaje, the Executive Secretary of NBTE to advice on the modalities for the operationalisation of the Skills Development Special Intervention.

He charged the Committee to assess the present state of Skills Development Programmes in Polytechnics based on the entrepreneurship and skills development policy of government.

He also urged the committee to harvest and determine skills development priorities
gathering of complementary resources, expertise needed for technical development and industrial growth.

He commended the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) for making deliberate efforts to improve skill development in Nigerian polytechnics by formalising the informal apprenticeship training through The National Skills Qualification framework (NSOF).

Echono, however, commended President Bola Tinubu for approving the 2024 Intervention budget of the Fund in which these activities were encapsulated.

He, therefore, tasked the committee to submit their reports within six weeks from the day they were constituted for upward development of the country.

Responding, the Chairman, Committee on operationalisation of skills development special intervention, Prof. Idris Bugaje commended the fund for investing in skills development saying that this lies the future of the youths.

“The three committees are very important because skills cut across all of them. In the past, polytechnics are behaving like ivory towers doing what universities are doing. This is not right, we are complimentary to universities.

” We have specific roles to play and the role is the provision of skills. We must train our own and use them.

“Dangote invest in skills from India, Trans Sahara pipe line import skills and a whole others. We must not allow this, our equipment are not working so we must ensure we upgrade them, train our own and use them,” he said

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