Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Wednesday commended the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for its role in the growth and development of tertiary education in the country.
Okowa gave the commendation when he received Chairman and members of the House of Representatives Committee on Tertiary Education and Services led by Rt. Hon. Aminu Suleiman, at Government House, Asaba.
He stated that he was proud of the outstanding contributions of TETFund to funding of research and infrastructure developments in higher institutions across the country.
He said that the National Assembly was an important organ of government and commended it for enactment of laws and oversight functions that had engendered advancement in education in Nigeria.
“As it stands in this country, the more the National Assembly actually goes out on oversight functions, the more likely we are going to have better institutions.
“There is no doubt that through various laws passed by our nation and the Act establishing the TETFund, a lot has been done in tertiary institutions.
“But, I still think that generally as a country, we must begin to look very closely into the funding and research of the tertiary institutions more than we are doing at the moment.
“This will help in the development of the mind and the higher institutions, and will also help in trying to bring us to compete with other universities of the world,” Okowa said.
On his administration’s entrepreneurial programmes, Okowa said that until we began to grow youth entrepreneurs in various aspects such as skill acquisitions and agricultural entrepreneurship programmes, we may not be able to sustain the peace being built at the moment.
“The more youths we are meaningfully able to take out of poverty, the better for us. So, our type of programme is not just a youth empowerment programme, it’s an entrepreneurial programme.
“We train them for both skills and mind; we empower them and monitor them very closely. We have had a reasonable success story, say about 70 per cent at the moment; many of them are now standing on their own and even training others.”
In the education sector, Okowa said that Deltans loved to further their education into higher institutions which informed the upgrade of three higher institutions in the state to universities.
“I am glad that you have talked about Federal University of Technology, Asaba. I think that with the facilities at the Federal College of Education (Technical), Asaba, the Federal Government would not be spending more to get the university running.
“It’s just a question of upgrading the Federal College of Education (Technical) Asaba. They have enough structures and a good number of lecturers also,’’ he said.
He charged members of the National Assembly to play their roles to keep the country united and give hope to the people in this trying period, saying that the legislature was a very important part of the polity.
Earlier, Suleiman had told the governor that his team was in the state in continuation of its oversight function, adding that one of the responsibilities of the legislature was to perform oversight on the state of institutions of higher learning to enable them discharge their duties with regards to appropriation.
He commended Okowa for his commitment, honesty and dedication to duty which had led to the massive construction of roads across the state and for his economic empowerment programmes for the youths, leading to sustained peace in Delta.