The Federal Government has unveiled 50 new textbooks published by Nigerian authors under the sponsorship of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) for tertiary institutions in the country.
Speaking at the public presentation of the textbooks on Thursday in Abuja, the Minister of Education Mallam Adamu Adamu said the publications would end the dominance of foreign academic materials in the nation’s education institutions.
The Minister represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Adamu said : “Overtime, Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions became dependent on books published outside the country with the attendant consequences of the herculean processes and unfavourable foreign exchange rate.
“It is equally worrisome that the quality of most academic publications in our country leaves much to be desired. It is therefore expected that nourishing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will not only ensure the availability of relevant books in the diverse subject areas taking cognizance of our local environment and sensitivities but will also safeguard national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange.” he said.
Also speaking, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Comrade Emmanuel Osodeke, who described TETFund as a brainchild of the union, called for increase of education tax from the current 2.5percent to 10 percent to enable TETFund mobilises more funds to totally address challenges confronting the sector.
While decrying poor attitude of some big companies and wealthy Nigerians on the payment of education tax, Osodeke said there is need to reposition and expand the education tax net to bring about more resources for tertiary education institutions.
On his part, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. Sonny Echono, commended the authors, TETFund’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and others for the publication of the 50 new textbooks.
“TETFund is committed to do this. TETFund has set a minimum target of 50 textbooks per year. I am sure that TAG we also surpass our expectation,” Echono said.
Reporting by Daniel Adejo; Editing by Abdullahi Lamino