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Research: Nigeria yet to significantly benefit from intervention impact – Echono

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*Says, TETFund revenue collection has drop from N257bn to N189bn

By Francesca Iwambe, Abuja

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The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has said that Nigeria is yet to significantly benefit from the desired impact of research intervention lines.

TETFund Executive Secretary, Mr Sonny Echono, made this disclosure during a One-Day Meeting of the Heads of Beneficial Institutions in public tertiary institutions with the TETFund.

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“Another area of concern to the TETFund is the Research intervention lines. From available data, the nation is yet to benefit significantly from the desired impact of this intervention line”, Echono said.

The TETFund boss while lamenting that the revenue collection of the fund had dropped from N257bn to N189bn said, the drop in revenue amounted to N68bn.

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He however disclosed that in-spite of the drop, the fund was able to move from the N189 billion in 2021 to over N300 billion in 2022.

He said, “The increase in collection was expected to increase disbursement to beneficiary institutions in 2023. Our collections yield to our disbursement to you. We received N257billion in 2021 to only N189 billion which is a deficit or shortfall of N68 billion in revenue and this has impacted on what you get from us.

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“Yet, I am pleased to report that despite this challenge, in the last eight months, we have disbursed more finds to you than any year in the establishment of the fund.

“Our primary duty is actually a disbursement agency and we are expected to ensure that this is done judiciously for the purposes of funding projects in the various institutions”.

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He said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to increased funding for education, and with the support of the National Assembly, the tax rate was increased from 2 to 2.5 per cent.According to him, this is a deliberate effort at mobilising resources for the fund.

He further disclosed that the meeting would be considering new pathways to achieving greater impact on the various research and development interventions.

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”We are also for the first time adopting the bottom-up approach to the budgeting process for the year 2023 intervention cycle.

“As beneficiaries and institutions that execute the intervention lines, we will appreciate your inputs and suggestions for better delivery of the intervention budget.

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“Other areas of deliberations will be promoting innovation, entrepreneurship and employability of graduates of Nigerian tertiary institutions, feedback on the TETFund Skill G intervention project from inception till date and a brief presentation by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) on the procurement processes to facilitate speedy and seamless implementation of projects as chief accounting officers amongst others.

“Each topic will be anchored by identified players in those specific area of discussion, which we believe will spur robust interaction and actionable ideas for greater results.

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“As your intervention agency, we have remained consistent in our drive and strive for excellence employing practical ways and solutions
towards repositioning and revitalizing our nation’s tertiary education system for the future generations to whom we owe this
Obligation.

“We are improving global competitiveness and visibility through our Capacity Building Programmes at various levels and different areas of national interest We are forging partnerships both locally and internationally for better access to quality resources and services. These partnerships have yielded some level of benefits for our TETFund Scholarship for Academic Staff intervention (TSAS).

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“We have signed MOU with some foreign institutions that offer free tuitions and other incentives to our scholars who qualify for such benefits. We are making efforts to expand these partnerships and MOU’s to other critical areas such as research and innovation, Agriculture, Engineering and ICT.

“The focus of the Year 2022 zonal intervention on improving and expanding our ICT capabilities is in recognition of the fact that the world has gone digital in practically all areas of human endeavors. We must therefore take deliberate steps to catch up with the rest of the world in the ICT space for needed national development.

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“At the Fund, we are reviewing our processes for enhanced and better services delivery to our beneficiary institution. We are currently re-working our 2007 edition of Guidelines for Disbursement and will make it available to you, when competed. We have also done some internal auditing of our staff to achieve better efficiency in the deployment to various departments of the Fund.

“We also requested you to do the same with respect to TETFund Desk officers and a summary of our expectation will also be presented at this forum. We are hopeful that these and other similar measures will place the Fund in a better position to discharge its mandate and functions to the nation.

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“As we proceed with the meeting today, I anticipate a vibrant participatory discourse that will avail the Fund the opportunity of harnessing your end-user experiences, inputs, thoughts and immense contributions, while fostering a sense of ownership, to optimize the Fund’s overall impact”.

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After giving my wife, N100k, she lodged in hotel with her lover for 4days, man tells Court

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Mr Hakeem Olarenwaju has narrated his ordeal to a court, how he gave his wife, N100,000 and she lodged in a hotel with her lover for four days.

To this end, Olarenwaju, has approached Grade A Customary Court, Mapo, Ibadan, Oyo State, seeking that it dissolves the 16-year-old union between him and his wife, Fatima Olarenwaju.

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Hakeem told the court that his wife whom he met as a single parent started misbehaving a few years into their marriage.

The plaintiff stated that he went into marriage with the defendant despite his father’s disapproval of their relationship, and that today he is regretting his action.

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Hakeem explained that Fatima who was initially loving, dedicated and obedient, suddenly changed and became defiant despite allowing her to bring to his house the child from her first marriage.

According to the plaintiff, the defendant constantly denied him sex and rubbed shoulders with him in the house.

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He further stated that she took to leaving home without his knowledge and consent, adding that there were times she travelled without informing him.

Hakeem added that he later found out that she was having an affair with another man whom she sometimes lodged with.

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Fatima, he added, finally moved out of his house.

He thus begged the court, if his prayer of divorce was answered to grant him custody of their two children whom she has failed to be a good example to.

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Fatima was absent in court despite being served court summonses.

Hakeem while giving his evidence said, “I went against my father’s wish and went ahead in 2006 to marry my wife who I met as a single parent.

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“Fatima and I had a blissful marriage despite the criticism from my family and my father in particular.

“She was well behaved and dedicated to me and our children. We were always together and shared each other’s dreams. She was my best friend.

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“I gave her N100,000 to start a business which blossomed and flourished in a short period.

“We were a happy family until my wife started misbehaving in 2010.

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“Fatima cultivated the habit of leaving home without my knowledge and consent and would return home late.

“The more I complained, the worse she became. Fatima would call off my bluff any time I threatened to deal with her.

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” I overlooked her shortcomings and allowed her to bring her daughter by another man to my home. But rather than be thankful for my display of generosity, all I got from her were abuses as a result of her caustic tongue.”

The plaintiff further said, “My lord, my wife is unfaithful to me. She was dating another man while under my roof.

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“She would lie to me that she was going to cater at a party being a caterer, but would go and spend the weekend with her lover.

“Fatima once travelled out of town for four days without informing me. She left no clue about her whereabouts while her phone was switched off.

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“I later learnt she travelled with her lover for those days and this led to a quarrel between us.

“I reported her to her parents and they helped resolved our differences, but Fatima to my chagrin abandoned all her duties in the home.

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“She refused me sex and stopped cooking my food. Her daughter was the one preparing my meals.

“She totally neglected me and refused to have anything to do with me.

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“Fatima finally packed out of my house which was why I came to court.

“My lord, I entreat the court to officially end our marriage and grant me custody of our two children.

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“Fatima’s lifestyle is questionable and as such can’t be a good example to our children.

The court president, Mrs S.M Akintayo, adjourned the case after he has heard the plaintiff and ordered that a fresh hearing notice be served the respondent.

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Truck Kills Road Safety officials on patrol

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By Gloria Ikibah

Two patrol operatives of the Federal Road Safety Corps were crushed to death on the Ikot-Ikpene-Aba road on Friday.

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Corps Spokesperson, Bisi Kazeem said that the crash occurred as a result of excessive speed indulged in by the driver of a DAF articulated truck while trying to dodge a pothole along the axis.

“According to preliminary investigation, the fatal crash involved a FRSC Patrol Vehicle and a white coloured truck.

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“The road crash affected a total of eight male adults, out of which two sustained severe injuries, two were killed while the remaining four passengers were rescued without any injuries.

“The injured persons have been taken to Ikot Ekpene General hospital and the dead deposited in the mortuary of the same hospital”, Kazeem stated.

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The Acting Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps, Dauda Biu, decried the incessant knock down and crushing of patrol operatives.

Biu said that the killing of the two officers was part of the recklessness of some drivers who have continuously violated the legally prescribed speed limit.

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He pledged the resolve of the Corps to apprehend perpetrators of the deadly act and make them face the full wrath of the law.

The FRSC boss conveyed his heartfelt condolences to the families of the staff who lost their lives in active service.

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Biu further assured the public of the Corps’ resilience to ensure that the perpetrators of such bad driving culture were forced to face the law.

“We advise motorists to desist from such act by complying with acceptable road safety regulations, as the Corps will not spare anyone engaged in this deadly act of recklessness on the road,” he added.

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Blind teacher In Oyo State Shares His Experience

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A visually impaired teacher and freelance broadcaster, Ayanwale Ayantola, who teaches English Language at the Adeniran Memorial Grammar School, Ogbomoso, Oyo State, and shares his experience.

*Some people with visual impairment had difficult childhoods. Was it the same for you?*

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I can say yes because the impression Nigerians have about people with disabilities is not encouraging. I was not born blind. I lost my sight when I was a SS2 pupil, though I had a visual problem when I was in junior secondary school. I attended Ori-Oke Baptist Primary School, Ogbomoso, and Ori-Oke Community High School, but did not graduate from the school because of the problem I had with my sight. As a JSS2 pupil, I noticed that I could not see clearly. That led me to use recommended glasses. Later, I found it difficult to see the blackboard unless I moved closer. My school principal and some other teachers noticed the problem when my performance dropped because they knew I was a brilliant pupil.

So, they told me to bring my parents to school and when they came, my father explained the challenges I had with my eyes. We later went to Jos, Plateau State, where I had the first surgery. Each of my eyes was operated on three times, but I did not know what the doctors told my dad. However, I was advised not to force myself to read with the eyes but rather to use the level of vision I had left to aid my movement.

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*Did the doctors tell your parents what was wrong with your eyes or why you could not see clearly?*

Yes. I was told I had glaucoma and my father was advised to enrol me in a school for the blind. In 2007, I was enrolled in the Oyo State School for the Blind, Ogbomoso, where I spent about eight months learning Braille and typewriting. I wanted to become a medical doctor and was a science pupil at Ori-Oke Community High School. I was told that I could not continue as a science student, so I became an arts pupil. After learning Braille and typewriting at the school for the blind, I went back to SS1 at Adeniran Memorial Grammar School, Ogbomoso, where I currently work as a teacher.

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*Can you remember the point when you completely lost your sight?*

When I was at the school for the blind, I could see partially and move about to do one or two things. I lost my sight completely in 2006. That was the time I forced my eyes to read printed copies of the materials I used to prepare for examinations organised by the West African Examinations Council. That was against the advice I was given not to read with my eyes. I can remember that on the day I lost my sight, I visited one of my seniors in school. As I tried to enter the class, I hit my forehead on one of the pillars and fainted. That was when I realised that I could no longer see.

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*How did your condition impact your relationship with people in your community?*

Many of my friends left me because they thought I was no longer part of them since I would attend a school for the blind, which was a boarding school. When I graduated from the school, I could not find any of them, because they had moved ahead of me academically, having returned to SS1 due to my condition.

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*How did you qualify as a teacher?*

I attended the Federal College of Education (Special), Oyo, and studied English/Visually Impaired Study. I graduated between 2004 and 2005. I found it easy to cope there because of my knowledge of the use of Braille. I could still see partially when I was at the college, so it was not difficult to find me around the school. In fact, I was the one guiding most of the blind students there. But now, people guide me because my sight is completely lost. I also attended the National Teachers Institute.

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*Were you bugged by your inability to attend a university and study Medicine, which was your dream course?*

I felt bad. My life has totally changed. If not for the advice I received, I wanted to commit suicide.

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*Read full story in Punch*

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