By Joseph Erunke, Abuja
The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has decried the dominance of foreign published materials in the nation’s academic institutions, regretting that the development has taken its toll on foreign exchange.
The minister stated this yesterday while unveiling 50 new textbooks published by Nigerian authors, under the sponsorship of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund.
Speaking through the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, at the public presentation of the textbooks in Abuja, the minister said the publications would end the dominance of foreign academic materials in the nation’s institutions.
Read Also: Unable to meet N.5m bail, man rots in prison for 10 yrs
He said: “Overtime, Nigeria’s tertiary 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.”
The minister, who commended TETFund for the publications, challenged the agency and authors to also produce books with the nation’s indigenous languages.
” I also charge TETFund and the academia to go beyond publishing in English Language to promoting authorship in our local languages in line with the recently approved National Language Policy,” the minister said.
Also speaking, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Comrade Emmanuel Osodeke, who described TETFund as a brainchild of the union, lavished praises on the agency for transforming the nation’s higher education sector.
He called for increase in education tax from the current 2.5per cent to 10 per cent to enable TETFund mobilise 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 was need to reposition and expand the education tax net to bring about more resources for tertiary 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 will also surpass our expectation,” Echono said.
The TETFund boss also assured that the newly published books would be distributed to tertiary institutions’ libraries at no cost.
” All the books we have published so far, the initial publications are going to be distributed to the libraries of our tertiary institutions free of charge. It is the subsequent publications that students will be buying or other researchers wil buy.
” We are also going to help them because the ministry has established education cloud, we are digitising our thesis and records, through that ecosystem, you are going to have digital copies of these materials.
“All we are going to do now is to ensure we protect the authors’ intellectual property rights and once that is done, they are going to be available in the internet,” Echono said.
On the ASUU president’s clamour for 10 per cent education tax, Echono said :”I am aware the current administration has done a lot in this regard. Mr President in just two years has taken two bold steps, I know there is a degree of pushback from industries, from NECA, about the issue of multiple taxation and the difficult operating environment, but seeing how important education is to national development, this president on two occasions last year, increased from it 2 to 2.5 per cent and in the current Finace Bill, Mr President has ensured that it is increased to 3 per cent.
”I don’t want to preempt until it is signed, but that shows the commitment of the president that wants to leave a legacy.
“Everyone knows that what is happening in most tertiary institutions is through the instrumentality of TETFund, so increasing TETFund funding will go a long way in achieving that, whether we can go to 10 per cent currently is a conversation that will be held somewhere else.”
Also speaking, Chairman of TETFund’s TAG, Prof. Charles Aworh, said the event was epoch-making because 40 of the 50 textbooks were published by Academic Publishing Centres established by TETFund.
“We are witnessing today the realization of an important goal of the TETFund Higher Education Book Development Intervention Project which is reviving academic publishing in Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions,” he said.
Aworh pledged the commitment of TAG to meet its mandate of delivering annually a substantial number of high quality textbooks to the Nigerian tertiary education system.”
The post Forex: <strong>FG laments dominance of foreign academic materials in educational institutions</strong> appeared first on Vanguard News.
Leave a Reply