The Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education in Nigeria (SSUCOEN) has passed a vote of confidence on the Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Dr. Abdullah Bichi Baffa, for his commitment to checking process abuse and ensuring judicious utilisation of intervention funds among beneficiary institution.
A press statement signed by the Fund’s Director of Corporate and Public Relations, Mr. Ben Ebikwo, and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday said the National President of the union, Comrade Danladi Ali Msheliza, made the above disclosure when he led members of his executive committee to pay courtesy visit to Dr. Baffa in his office in Abuja recently.
Msheliza further disclosed that the vote of confidence was part of the resolution reached after the 24th National Delegates Conference of the Union, held at the College of Education, Mina, Niger State.
According to Comrade Msheliza, who made a copy of the communiqué available to the TETFund boss, the union has observed the good works the Executive Secretary has been carrying out to reposition the Fund since his assumption of office.
Pledging the union’s support to Dr. Baffa, Comrade Msheliza also stated that the union can testify to the tremendous works the Fund has been carrying out in the areas of capital projects, Academic Staff Training and Development, Library Development, among others, commending TETfund as the rescuer of public tertiary institutions in the country.
He said: “We are here as a union to inform you that at our National Delegates’ Conference which was held in Mina and which gave birth to our election, delegates observed the good works you have been doing ever since you came on board and a vote of confidence was passed on you; and they asked us to come and commend you, to encourage you to do more in what you have already started to do for us.’’
“It is no more news that without TETfund, tertiary educational institutions would have been something else today in this country simply because a visit to our Colleges would tell you that TETfund is maintaining our Colleges these days; and that is why we have come to say thank you for what you are doing for us as a college.
“We are an umbrella union for all senior non-teaching staff in Colleges of Education in this country, both state and federal. We have been seeing your interventions in terms of capital projects; interventions in terms of Academic Staff Training and Development and other interventions like the BOT, teaching practice and all that. It is quite commendable.
“We just feel we say thank you for all that you are doing, trusting God that as resources come; and because you are judiciously utilizing the resources, we know our college will experience more development as the days go by,” he added.
Highlighting some challenges facing members of the union, Comrade Msheliza appealed to the Executive Secretary to assist its members in capacity building considering the fact that they, like their teaching counterparts, play a critical role in teacher education in Nigeria.
He also informed the Executive Secretary that the newly revised Scheme of Service requires that non-teaching staff acquire Masters Degrees and belong to chartered professional bodies before elevation to the peak of their careers.
Speaking at the meeting, Executive Secretary of TETfund, Dr. Abdullahi Bichi Baffa, congratulated Comrade Msheliza for his election as the National President of SSUCOEN and prayed for God’s guidance towards helping his constituents meet their desired aspirations under his leadership.
The TETfund boss also expressed appreciation to members of the National Delegates’ conference of the union for the confidence reposed in him during their meeting and said that he would on invitation, attend the National Executive Committee meeting of the union in order to give a formal briefing and interact with the members.
While thanking the union leader for recognising the role of TETfund in providing physical infrastructure and human capital development necessary for the promotion of teaching and learning in public tertiary institutions in the country, the Executive Secretary described the interventions of TETfund as the life wire that has sustained the activities of beneficiary institutions.
On infractions that have been observed by the Fund, Dr. Baffa decried the situation where some scholars and other staff engage in the abuse of intervention processes by not adhering to guidelines stipulated by the Fund.
According to him, it has become very unfortunate that some scholars are awarded sponsorship to attend conferences or study for higher degrees but abandon such programmes or violate the terms of approvals granted after funds are released to them.
The Executive Secretary, who expressed his unflinching resolve to adhere strictly to the provisions of the TETfund Act in carrying out the activities of the Fund, described transparency and accountability as his watch words.