From left: Governor Lalong, Professor Bogoro, and Professor Izam at the commissioning.

By Marie-Therese Nanlong

Jos – The Executive Secretary, Tertiary Education Trust Fund, TETFund, Professor Elias Bogoro has again harped on the need for tertiary institutions in the country to improve on the quality of the academics and research infrastructures like laboratories to enable them to compete favourably with their contemporaries in the continent.

Bogoro reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to improve tertiary education in the country; as attention is being given to manpower training and acquisition of modern scientific and research equipment.

Speaking on Friday while commissioning the new senate building and faculty of Health Sciences at the Plateau State University, PLSAU, Bokkos, which were executed by the TETFund, he assured the new Faculty of Health Sciences will get support so that it can produce high-quality manpower for the nation’s health system.

He stated, “We have been supporting this university to train its lecturers for Masters and PhDs in various disciplines. We want to see them as we develop laboratories, especially in the sciences. Those laboratories should be equipped with appropriate modern, digital facilities, and who knows that in another five years here, we would be talking about phytodrugs that have been developed by PLASU and recognized by the World Health Organization.

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“You have the capacity, you have the scientists, you have those that are developing through higher qualification, we have started supporting doctoral research. The idea is to be fair to those who do their Ph.D. locally to have exposure to those laboratories overseas. But we are also ensuring that our laboratories here are equipped to become reference laboratories in other words they are comparable laboratories anywhere in the world…”

The Visitor of the University, Governor Simon Lalong acknowledged the support of the Federal Government to PLASU through TETFund saying such has made the institution one of the fastest growing in the country.

He said the projects which are within the 2019 High Impact Intervention initiative where PLASU was selected as a beneficiary for the North Central Zone, will go a long way in boosting teaching and learning at the University.

His words, “Although many tertiary institutions across the country lobbied very hard to be considered for the projects, PLASU was very fortunate to be given this privilege owing to our good relationship with the ES TETFund who is a son of Plateau; the Hon. Minister of Education who is a friend of Plateau and my personal friend; as well as President Muhammadu Buhari who has proved beyond reasonable doubt that Plateau has a special place in his heart.”

Lalong noted that for education in Nigeria particularly at the tertiary level to be taken to a desirable level, the three tiers of Government must collaborate and work together and fund education to develop manpower and infrastructure that will ensure a good learning environment.

Commenting on the ongoing strike action by the academic and non-academic staff of the institution, he noted, “We are aware of the ongoing strike by some Unions in the University for reasons bordering on earned allowances for which government has already approved the sum of N100 million as part payment. Let me assure the University Council, Management, Unions, and students that we are sparing no effort to ensure that the issues are resolved so that academic activities are restored without further delay.”

He called on staff and students to make good use of the facilities.

Earlier, Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Yohanna Izam said the University has been taken to greater heights with the inauguration of the new infrastructure and the ongoing construction of others.

Prof. Izam thanked Governor Lalong and Professor Bogoro for their commitment to making sure that PLASU takes a leading position in the country’s University system, adding that he was optimistic that other ongoing projects would be completed soon.