The Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, has denounced the effect of the foreign published books dominance in Nigeria academic institutions on the foreign exchange. Represented by the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah Opiah, Adamu disclosed this in an event in Abuja while revealing the 50 new textbooks published by Nigerian authors, under the sponsorship of the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). He said the indigenous publications would end the dominance of foreign academic materials in the nation’s institutions.
Adamu explains that Nigeria’s tertiary institutions dependent on foreign published books come with the attendant consequences of the herculean processes and unfavorable foreign exchange rate. He said it is equally worrisome that most of the country’s academic publications are of standard quality. Thus it is said that enhancing the culture of quality authorship and the production of indigenous books will ensure availability of relevant books in diverse subject areas. It will also protect national pride and reduce the demand for foreign exchange, considering the level of awareness in the local environment and enlightenment.
ASUU president advocated for an increase in the education tax.
Highly-acclaimed TETFund efforts in the publications of the textbooks while also tasking the agency and authors to further go beyond producing books with English language and dive into using the country’s indigenous languages. This is said to be an act of promoting authorship in local languages in accordance with the recently approved National Language Policy. Also on his part, President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Comrade Emmanuel Osodeke, commended TETFund for transforming the nation’s higher education sector, describing the agency as the coinage of the union.
President of the ASUU advocated for an increment in the education tax from the current 2.5 percent to 10 percent in order to enable TETFund to generate more funds to do a complete overhaul the challenges facing the sector. Speaking on the payment of the education tax, he denounced the negligence behaviour of some big companies and affluent Nigerians. He said there it is imperative to reposition and expand the education tax net to generate more resources for tertiary institutions. While commenting on the development, Sonny Echono, Executive Secretary of TETFund, Arc. commended the authors, TETFund’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and others for the publication of the 50 new textbooks.
The newly published books would be distributed for free to institutions.
According to Echono TETFund is dedicated to implement the developments noting that the agency has set a least target of 50 textbooks per year, which he assures that the agency will exceed the expectation. He also guaranteed that the newly published books would be distributed for free to tertiary institutions’ libraries in the country. Subsequently, and other book published by the agency will be made available w with tag price for students and researchers, he added. As part of the TETFund efforts to ease the affairs, Echono said work is underway to digitized thesis and records which can be accessed online on the established education cloud.
This primary aim is ensuring the authors intellectual properties are well protected. On the ASUU president’s urge for education tax increment to 10 percent, Echono explains that it is notable that the incumbent government has done a lot in this regard. He said despite the challenges faced in the industry within the last two years, the presidents have made an increment on the education tax last year from its initial 2 percent to 2.5 percent. Also, the president has made a move to ensure it is increased to 3 percent under the current Finance Bill.
40 of the 50 textbooks were published by centers under TETFund.
Moreover, TETFund efforts in transforming tertiary institutions cannot be overemphasized. As such, increasing the agency funding will boost the level of achievement in the institutions. Chairman of TETFund’s TAG, Prof. Charles Aworh, said the event was noteworthy given that 40 of the 50 textbooks were published by Academic Publishing Centres established by TETFund. Aworh stated the big achievement is one of the significant objectives of TETFund Higher Education Book Development Intervention Project which is reviving academic publishing in Nigeria’s tertiary education institutions. He further pledged TAG commitments to meet its mandate of delivering annually a substantial number of high quality textbooks to the Nigerian tertiary education system.