The Tertiary Education Trust Fund has said the recent monetary policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria has created difficulties in the payment of foreign scholarship tuition and stipends.
The Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono, disclosed this at a one-day Stakeholders’ Engagement on Emerging Issues with the TETFund Intervention in Abuja on Wednesday.
Echono said since the fund’s allocation was barely enough to service programmes under its Tertiary Scholarship for Academic Staff, the fund was considering suspending foreign scholarships while also considering an upward review of local scholarships.
”The Fund at this material time is also discouraging beneficiary institutions from initiating new Benchwork programmes.
The Executive Secretary noted that the Fund had recently signed several MoUs with some prestigious institutions overseas that include universities in Malaysia, India, Brazil, France and the United States with a view to boosting and enhancing the TSAS programme in the future.
”You will also recall that to enhance the effectiveness of the National Research Fund, a National Research Fund Screening and Monitoring Committee was established to screen and select proposals from across institutions and researchers for funding.
”The committee comprises senior academic staff of universities and other tertiary institutions across the country. Members are appointed for an initial period of two years that is renewable. However, no member is allowed to serve for more than four years, which is equivalent to two terms.
”Similarly, to ensure the successful implementation of the Higher Educational Book Development Project, the Board of Trustees of the Fund set up the standing Technical Advisory Group committee in 2009.
”The mandate of this committee includes working collaboratively with the Fund to fine-tune the Book Development Blueprint into a Strategic working document that clearly spells out the administrative procedures, framework, and guidelines for effective access and utilisation of TETFund Higher Education Book Development Intervention Funds in Institutions within the nation.