The Nigeria Union of Journalists has commended the efforts of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund in ensuring through its intervention that institutions have adequate infrastructure.
A statement signed by Ebikwo Benn, Director, Public Affairs Department, TETFund, in Abuja on Tuesday said the NUJ gave the commendation during a visit to the Executive Secretary of TETEFund, Dr. Abullahi Baffa.
Christopher Isiguzo, National President, NUJ, said the Fund was the saving grace of public tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
Isiguzo said without the intervention efforts of the Fund, most institutions would have no physical infrastructure to carry out any meaningful learning and teaching activities.
He urged the Fund to sustain its tempo for developments in all beneficiary institutions, adding that the mandate of the Fund was apt.
He said: “Without the interventions of TETFund, it would have been another story. It is not what we are seeing where people are studying under trees.
“TETFund is holding a very strategic role in the development of infrastructure to facilitate teaching and learning and we are very happy, nobody is learning under the tress or dilapidated structures.”
The NUJ boss commended the TETFund boss for his effective running of the agency, adding that such efforts should be sustained.
He expressed delight over the relationship between TETFund and the media as seen in the constant positive reportage of events of the agency, as he urged the Executive Secretary to continue in that regard.
Isiguzo solicited for a more robust partnership between TETFund and NUJ, noting that since his assumption of office, the Union had floated its own official publication called: “The Defender Magazine.”
He said the magazine would be managed by professionals that were guided by the core ethics of journalism.
He said: “The Defender Magazine is our own voice, we do not want to rely on other medium for own stories or showing what we are doing or even in pointing out those doing well. The Magazine will be available and have wide reach.
“We call on TETFund to partner with the NUJ not only through the Magazine but other areas, and we assure TETFund of the support of the Union in all its activities.”
In his response, Baffa thanked the NUJ President and his team for the visit, describing the Union as a very strategic and major stakeholder in all the activities of the Fund.
The executive secretary described the hand of fellowship extended to TETFund by the NUJ as a welcome development.
The TETFund boss promised that the agency would ensure that the cordial and mutual beneficial relationship between the NUJ was made stronger.
He said: “The Fund does not take for granted such overtures, especially those who take time to visit the Fund and give words of encouragement.
“I see all journalists as partners in progress as well as intellectuals; the efforts journalists put into getting details and facts for publication is akin to the rigors academics go through in their research work and teaching.”
Baffa promised that TETFund would not relent in its duties of working for the development of tertiary institutions in Nigeria.
The TETFund boss recalled that last week, he addressed a news conference on the activities and achievements of the Fund for the Year 2018 and that it was well covered and reported.
He said during the event, TETFund informed all stakeholders on the achievements of the Fund , adding that about 93.5 per cent improvement was achieved in the area of beneficiary institutions accessing their allocations from TETFund.
Baffa attributed the improvement to the novelty introduction of the Access Clinic and Budget Defence sessions, which had opened up the processes of TETFund.
He said the access clinic and budget defence had also helped beneficiary institutions know how to easily access their allocations, as well as the sensitisation exercise and his open door policy.
The NUJ President was accompanied by the Secretary General of NUJ, Shuaibu Liman, and other officials of the NUJ, while the Director, Public Affairs Department of TETFund joined the Executive Secretary in receiving the visitors.