One vital area that the government must give priority attention to in the renewed vigour for over all development is the institutionalisation of Monitoring and Evaluation process. This has long been accepted as a global developmental practice with measurable outcomes.
Developmental interventions by government institutions must therefore provide the needed outcome to justify the amount of resources expended on projects.Indeed development partners and funders are more at home with institutions that embrace evidence based outcome with desired results as against those with poor assessment procedures.
It is a fact that most government funded projects and programmes suffer from loses occasioned by factors such as poor planning, poor monitoring and evaluation, policy inconsistency and of course corruption. It is therefore imperative for institutions to employ credible and appropriate impact evaluation process to enhance the effectiveness of development interventions and guarantee value for money.
It is against this background that Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND ) established in 2011 as intervention fund to cater for all public tertiary institutions across the country will be examined.
Last year, Executive Secretary of TETFUND, Professor Suleiman Elias Bogoro , took a bold initiative to constitute a 61 member team made up of academics, economists, statisticians, communication experts, civil society groups, human rights and development experts to evaluate the impact of TETFUND in the last 20 years. This is against the backdrop that of all the government intervention institutions, TETFUND appears to be the most recognisable intervention agency of the federal government with visible and tangible results.
The 61 member team led by Professors Nazifi Darma and Placid Njoku were challenged with the objectives of determining: The effect of the TETFUND on the Nigerian Education System; Perception of the FUND by beneficiary institutions, including staff, academic and non academic and other stakeholders; The levels of implementation of its statutory mandates and the extant efficiencies and; The success and challenges of existing programmes and projects and of course the future direction of the Fund in the new world of ICT.
Professor Bogoro who pioneered the new face of TETFUND with emphasis on research and development is of the view that research and development, which is critical and essential to the sustenance and growth of the nation, must be a core focus of high institutions of learning. Tertiary institutions must as a matter of necessity justify the huge resources that government is putting from tax payers money.
The Assessment team based their assignment on the relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, sustainability of the interventions.
The team crisscrossed all the nooks and crannies of the country accessing all government tertiary institution in the 36 states of the federation and Abuja. They met with chief executives of all the beneficiaries institutions, students, lecturers, academic and non academic staff and other stakeholders such as the Federal Inland Revenue Service ( FIRS) the fund collector.
The evaluation began with a preliminary induction meeting which outlined the detailed methodology , key focal areas, analytical tools and the philosophical underpinning of the Fund; Rehabilitation, Restoration and Consolidation of Education in Nigeria.
To ensure a hitch free exercise and reduce bottlenecks, heads of the various beneficiary institutions were invited to Abuja for briefing. In addition staff of TETFUND were mobilised to provide the team with relevant documents.
– Oparah, a public affairs analyst writes from Abuja.