Executive Secretary of Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund), Prof. Elias Suleiman Bogoro has described his reinstatement by President Muhammadu Buhari as unprecedented.
Professor Bogoro was previously the Executive Secretary of TETFUND between April 2014 and February 2016. He was replaced with Dr Suleiman Baffa who was removed ‘with immediate effect’ in January 2019 after which Prof Bogoro was brought back to office after all allegations of financial improprieties leveled against him had been cleared.
Prof. Bogoro who spoke while addressing staff of TETFund in his first meeting with them explained that his reinstatement was unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, and pledged to manage the Fund to the point of becoming a reference point for other institutions to follow.
Recall that the Executive Secretary resumed to a thunderous welcome by highly elated staff of the Fund who rushed down to usher him into office on Monday, 21st January, 2019.
He said; “I give God the glory for my unprecedented reinstatement in a way that has never happened before. I don’t know how to thank the President for giving me a medal that no Nigerian has attained before and I pledge to do everything to manage the Fund’s affairs very well.”
“I struggled with tears on Monday when I resumed and I am so proud of you all and may God bless you. I will never forget your style of welcoming me because it has vindicated me. Other organization will learn how to run and manage human beings with respect,” he added.
He recalled that he was part of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) struggle that not only led to the establishment of the Fund, but ensured that its mandate of focusing on public tertiary institutions for maximum impact was pursued.
“I never imagined that I will sit on the leadership of the institution we fought for through ASUU. We insisted that TETFund be streamlined to intervene only in public tertiary institutions because government only intervenes where it will benefit the greater majority; as according to the National Universities Commission (NUC), private universities cater for only 6% of students intake,” Prof. Bogoro noted.
Speaking on how TETFund has contributed to restore the glory of tertiary institutions in Nigeria through interventions in Infrastructural Development, Academic Staff Training and Development, Journal and Book Development, among others, he pointed out that his predecessors were instrumental to these innovative policies presently operating in the Fund.
On ensuring that TETFund projects are of the highest quality, Bogoro emphasized that there is no excuse for substandard projects, by insisting that only the best quality projects are sponsored by the Fund.
On staff welfare, the Executive Secretary stated that it is part of his six point agenda to uplift the welfare of staff intellectually, through capacity building as well as improved condition of service to give every member of staff a sense of belonging.
He said the Fund is expanding its partnership internationally with regards to capacity building of staff, with a view to equipping them to confidently face the challenges of their daily work schedules with beneficiary institutions.
Staff were also given opportunity to ask questions or comment on issues affecting the workplace, to which the Executive Secretary responded with assurance to re-visit and take appropriate action.
Some of the issues raised include: improved welfare packages, health facility for emergency purposes, establishment of crèche within the premises, newly created Research and Development Department, possibility of re-opening zonal offices as well as internal dissemination of information among staff.
The opening remark was given by Director, Human Resource Management, Mallam Umar Bukar, while the Director, Finance and Investment, Alhaji Saidu Idris gave the vote of thanks.
All the Directors, Departmental Heads and Management staff were in attendance during the meeting.