The Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) has approved the establishment of a secretariat to operationalise the partnership between government, the private sector and academic institutions.
TETFund says the secretariat will aim to enhance the country’s drive towards a knowledge-based economy.
Executive Secretary of TETFund, Sonny Echono gave the green light for its creation at a meeting with a delegation of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG) in Abuja.
Mr Echono told the NESG delegation, led by its Chief Executive Officer, Laoye Jaiyeola, that the secretariat would be domiciled in NESG.
The move, he explained, was part of the synergy-building efforts by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and TETFund, under its policy of “triple helix approach” to research, which is anchored on government, the academia and industry partnership.
The TETFund boss also said the partnership was designed to ensure that institutions become more relevant to society, to national development aspirations, to the needs of industry, to solving problems, as well as improving the lifestyles and standard of living of people generally.
He described NESG as the policy arm or coordinating group for the Nigerian private sector, which, he stressed, represents the industry, stressing that partnership with NESG is imperative to drive the concept of employability for graduates, improving curriculum delivery in institutions, making graduates of institutions more relevant to the workplace and the work opportunities of tomorrow.
Earlier, the CEO of NESG, Mr Laoye Jaiyeola, recalled that talks about the partnership began way back in 2018, stressing that all the issues that necessitated the partnership were still germane, still relevant.
While calling for the setting up of the secretariat, he said it would not only be a platform for NESG but also for private, public sectors and civil society as well as for everybody to sit down together and look at issues as it relates to Nigeria.
“Before you settle down and your pen begins to get sticky, let me remind you that we have a work that has been left undone. That work we both started 3, 4 years ago is still relevant today. It’s relevant tomorrow.
“For us at NESG, we were very ready and available. At that point was the point of saying so how do we have the coordinating Secretariat, which we were graciously willing to provide so that we can see how we can fund it and bring the issues to the fore?“The reason why we believe this approach is important is situated in the fact that it’s beyond just education. It is multifaceted industry involvement that will solve it,” he said.
Writing by Daniel Adejo